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Publix’ Miami division VP retires, successor named

BY Michael Johnsen

LAKELAND, Fla. — After more than 46 years of service, Publix Super Markets Miami division VP Bill Fauerbach has announced his decision to retire at the end of March 2014.

“Bill helped grow our culture and build a solid foundation on which the Miami division will continue to grow. We thank him for his many contributions, and he will be missed by us all,” said Publix CEO Ed Crenshaw.

With this retirement, Publix announced the promotion of Kevin Murphy to Miami division VP, effective April 1.

Murphy began his Publix career in 1984 as a front-service clerk in Margate, Fla. He worked through various positions before becoming a store manager in 1995 and Jacksonville division district manager in 2003. He has been a regional director in the Atlanta division since January 2009.

“With Kevin’s passion, commitment to Publix and strong operational knowledge, he’s the ideal candidate to continue to promote the Publix culture of developing associates and enhancing the customer shopping experience,” said Publix president Todd Jones.

Murphy received the George W. Jenkins Award in 2000 and the President’s Award in 2007. The George W. Jenkins Award honors Publix managers who consistently work to make their workplace the best it can be. The President’s Award honors Publix managers who are committed to workplace diversity.

Murphy and his wife, Christina, will be relocating to the south Florida area.

 

 

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Reports: Instacart launches in Boston

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — A company that helps people shop for groceries is expanding into another city after a successful run in two others, according to published reports.

TechCrunch reported that Instacart had launched in Boston. The company already operates in the San Francisco Bay Area and Chicago, and it plans to serve the entire Boston area in the next few months.

The company allows customers to use personal shoppers to buy groceries at stores like Whole Foods and Costco. It’s planning further expansions for 2014 and expects to be in 10 markets by the end of the year, according to TechCrunch.

 

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Costco reports profit of $425 million in first quarter 2014

BY Alaric DeArment

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Costco Wholesale Corp. had sales of $24.47 billion in first quarter 2014, the club retailer said.

The results, announced Wednesday, were an increase from the $23.20 billion reported in first quarter 2013 and produced a profit of $425 million, compared with the $416 profit last year.

Same-store sales for the quarter increased by 3%, including 3% in the United States and 1% in stores abroad.

While profits increased over the last quarter, the company’s earnings per share of 96 cents fell short of the $1.03 expected by analysts.

Guggenheim Securities analyst John Heinbockel gave Costco’s stock a "neutral" rating, noting that the results, while "disappointing," were not due to the health of the company itself, but rather factors such as a stronger U.S. dollar, decline in gross profits on gas and an unusual step-up in stock compensation expense. Additionally, the chain’s Canadian business was described as "robust," with an 8% increase in same-store sales.

Costco’s stock was at $118.35 per share on the NASDAQ in late-afternoon trading Wednesday, after opening at $118.10 and hitting a high of $120.30.

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