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September retail sales rise

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON The Census Bureau on Friday announced that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for September were up 0.6% from August to $367.7 billion, making it 7.3% above last year.

Total sales for the July through September 2010 period were up 5.7% from the same period a year ago. Retail trade sales were up 0.7% from August, and 7.7% above last year.

Among advance estimates for pharmacies and drug stores, sales increased from $18.28 million in July 2010 to $18.43 million to August 2010. Meanwhile, health and personal care stores dropped 1.1% to $21.62 million, compared with August sales. Grocery store sales also declined from about $44.07 million in August to $43.5 million in September.

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Save-A-Lot opens distribution center

BY Allison Cerra

ST. LOUIS Supervalu subsidiary and hard-discount grocery retailer Save-A-Lot will open a new distribution center in North Carolina.

The retailer said its 325,000-sq.-ft. distribution center in Lexington, N.C., is scheduled to open in December 2011. The new building will be a state-of-the-art food distribution center utilizing the latest in green technologies, including lights that only operate when a person is present and an HVAC system that uses smart thermostats, Save-A-Lot said.

“The Lexington distribution center will enable us to serve our current stores more efficiently and at the same time, grow our business in the region,” said Bill Shaner, Save-A-Lot president and CEO.

Save-A-Lot operates approximately 1,200 stores in 39 states, and said it plans to double the number of stores it operates nationally over the next five years.

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Safeway’s Q3 down 4.5%

BY Michael Johnsen

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway on Thursday reported net income of $122.8 million for the third quarter ended Sept. 11, down 4.5% as compared with the year-ago period. Results for the third quarter included $12 million in employee severance charges, offset by a lower tax rate, compared with third quarter 2009.

"Our third-quarter results were in line with our expectations," stated Steve Burd, chairman, president and CEO. "The trend in price per item improved during the quarter. … We continue to tailor our offerings to the changing needs of our customers, with innovative consumer brand launches of Refreshe beverages and In-Kind personal care products, while offering lower everyday prices and attractive club card specials."

Total sales were down 1% to $9.4 billion in the third quarter. Same-store sales were down 2% due to a decline in price-per-item.

 

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