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Publix Makes $4M pledge to Habitat for Humanity

BY David Salazar

LAKELAND, Fla. — After a new donation pledge from Publix Super Markets Charities (PSMC), Habitat for Humanity affiliates in the southeastern U.S. will be able to build 40 new houses in 2016. The $4 million donation, announced Monday, will go to more than 80 different Habitat for Humanity affiliates in Ala., Fla., Ga., N.C., S.C. and Tenn.

“Every family deserves an opportunity to have a roof over their heads and food on their table,” PSMC president Carol Jenkins Barnett said. “My father established our foundation in 1966 with a strong desire to see our communities thrive. Forty-nine years later, we are continuing his legacy. As we honor my father’s memory and celebrate what would have been his 108th birthday today, we are delighted to continue our 26-year partnership with Habitat for Humanity by giving $4 million to Habitat affiliates across Publix’s footprint.”

In addition to the $4 million pledge, Publix will donate groceries for the homes sponsored by the donation, and Publix associates will invest in Habitat for Humanity for their 2016 Publix Serves community impact campaign.

“Our associates serve our customers with stellar customer service, and serve their communities generously by giving of their time and talents to support many nonprofit organizations,” Public media and community relations director Maria Brous said. “Our associates are always there to give of themselves when our communities are in need. Giving back is what we do. It is our culture of service.”

The $4 million donation is the largest amount given by PSMC in a year since it began supporting Habitat for Humanity in 1989. 

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Costco looks toward expansion as holidays near

BY Mike Troy

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — A strong dollar and tumbling gas prices made Costco’s fourth quarter sales results seem weak. They weren’t and now the company plans to open 12 more clubs before year end.

Costco said total sales for its fourth quarter ended Aug. 30 increased 1% to $35 billion and same store sales declined 1%. Strip out the negative effects of a strengthening dollar and gas prices that were dramatically lower during Costco’s fourth quarter when compared to the prior year and total company and U.S. same store sales increased 6%.

Aided by membership growth, net income during the quarter increased 10% to $767 million from $697 million. Earnings per share increased 9.5% to $1.73 from $1.58 which was considerably better than analysts consensus estimate of $1.66. Membership income during the period increased 2.2% to $785 million.

For the full year, Costco’s sales increased 3% to $113.7 billion from $110.2 billion the prior year. Full year net income grew increased to $2.38 billion, or $5.37 per share, compared to $2.06 billion, or $4.65 per share, last year. Full year membership income increased 4.3% to $2.5 billion.

Costco ended the year with 686 warehouses worldwide, including 480 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 89 in Canada, 36 in Mexico, 27 in the United Kingdom, 23 in Japan, 12 in Korea, 11 in Taiwan, seven in Australia and one in Spain. The company said it plans to open 12 more locations before the end of the calendar year.

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Target rolls out new price match policy

BY Gina Acosta

MINNEAPOLIS — The competition for retailers selling online just got a lot more intense with a new price-match policy from Target just ahead of the prime holiday shopping season.

Beginning Oct. 1, Target will price-match the websites of 29 major retailers in stores and for purchases from their website.

The new policy expands price-matching beyond the online outlets of local retailers with physical stores. This means that even if a customer lives in a city without a Buy Buy Baby store, for example, the customer can still get the Buy Buy Baby price at their local Target. This is also the first time Target will match online prices from warehouse clubs, such as Costco and Sam’s Club.

“It’s what companies have to do in this new world of retail,” Edward Jones retail analyst Brian Yarbrough told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “Pricing has become so transparent over the last few years.”

Target’s new policy is following the lead of Walmart, Best Buy and Staples, all of which match their online prices with online rivals. Target’s new policy also includes a longer time frame of 14 days to get a price adjustment, up from seven days.

Here’s the full list of Target’s new online price-matching retailers: Amazon, Babies ‘R’ Us, Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, Buy Buy Baby, Costco, CVS, Diapers.com, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Drugstore.com, GameStop, JCPenney, Kmart, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Newegg, Office Depot, Petco, Petsmart, Sam’s Club, Sears, Sports Authority, Staples, Toys ‘R’ Us, Ulta, Walgreens, Walmart, and Wayfair.

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