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Safeway hoping to raise as much as $220 million through Blackhawk IPO

BY Michael Johnsen

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Blackhawk Network Holdings on Monday announced its intent to open its initial public offering of 10 million shares at an estimated offering price of $20 to $22 per share. The IPO will consist solely of shares to be offered by existing stockholders, including Safeway, and could raise as much as $220 million. 

Goldman, Sachs & Co., BofA Merrill Lynch, Citigroup and Deutsche Bank Securities will serve as joint-bookrunning managers, with Goldman, Sachs & Co. serving as the global coordinator for the proposed offering. Barclays, BMO Capital Markets, Credit Suisse, Piper Jaffray, Raymond James and Wells Fargo Securities will serve as co-managers for the proposed offering. The offering will be made only by means of a prospectus. 

Blackhawk, a majority-owned subsidiary of Safeway, is a prepaid payment network utilizing proprietary technology to offer a portfolio of gift cards, other prepaid products and payment services in the United States and 18 other countries.

 

 

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Fruth opens 27th store in Ironton, Ohio

BY Alaric DeArment

IRONTON, Ohio — Fruth Pharmacy is opening its second store in the town of Ironton, Ohio, the retail pharmacy chain said Friday.

The store, the 27th in the Point Pleasant, W.Va.-based chain, was formerly Staley’s Pharmacy, an independent drug store. Owner Jim Staley, considering retirement, sold the store to Fruth. All the store’s employees, including Staley and his sister, were offered positions, and most stayed, Fruth said. The chain also recently opened its 26th store in Ironton.

"His primary concern was to make sure someone would continue to take care of his patients at the same level they had provided for the last 65 years, and what would happen to his employees," Fruth president and chairman Lynne Fruth said. "It was important that his family-owned business continue as a family-owned business."

Fruth added new paint, flooring and display shelves, as well as expanded selections of gifts and grocery items, but kept many of the original fixtures, including built-in display cabinetry and an old-fashioned indoor phone booth. The store’s grand opening is scheduled for the week of April 29.

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Marketing no longer about mobilizing the masses, but about amassing the upwardly mobile

BY Michael Johnsen

Geoscape issued a report projecting the future buying power of both Asian and Hispanic households, respectively. Both groups will spend far more in their remaining lifetimes than white non-Hispanic households. 

This report should serve as a wake up call that multicultural marketing efforts that appeal to the diversity of a shopper base are not just innovative strategies — they’re also essential. 

Marketing has always been about mobilizing the greatest number of consumers to buy. And an homogenized marketing message strategically placed against a mass media outlet times frequency used to do the trick. Not anymore. That collection of consumer eyeballs has been fracturing into smaller and smaller segments ever since cable TV was first introduced decades ago. That fracturing has only accelerated as consumers learn how to better personalize their media consumption through smartphones and tablets. 

Today it’s about mobilizing the greatest number of consumers to buy within each fragment. 

It’s already being done. Walgreens just last week opened a flagship location in Washington, D.C. at the entryway to the district’s Chinatown. And while casual walkersby may not take notice, the Walgreens logo on the exterior includes characters that translate into "pharmacy" in both Mandarin and Chinese. And many retailers like Target are generating separate creative specifically targeting the Hispanic population when constructing their media campaigns. 

Here’s why: According to the recent State of the Asian-American Consumer report from Nielsen, the Asian-American population totals 18.2 million today, with 1.4 million households with median incomes greater than $100,00. And the Hispanic-American population numbers more than 52 million, with 1.8 million households generating incomes greater than $100,000. That represents a 51% growth in the number of Asian-Americans and 50.6% growth in the number of Hispanic-Americans between 2000 and 2012. 

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