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Stater Bros. recognized for green waste-reduction efforts

BY Allison Cerra

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — A regional supermarket chain’s green efforts have paid off.

One year from when Stater Bros. introduced its "Green Waste" composting program, which turns organic waste into compost that is sold to area farmers, the retailer was named the 2010 Waste Reduction Awards Program winner by the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery.

The CalRecycle WRAP award acknowledged the Stater Bros. composting program, which removed more than 27 million lbs. of waste from landfills in its eight months of operation in 2009, the company said. The retailer also implemented a "green team," which reviews, selects and implements business practices that promote the long-term well-being of the company, the community and the environment.

The CalRecycle WRAP has been recognizing the environmentally friendly business strategies of California businesses since 1993.

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Winn-Dixie’s bottled water benefits Toys for Tots

BY Allison Cerra

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Winn-Dixie is offering customers a way to benefit the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots program this holiday season through its private-label bottled water.

For a limited time, customers can purchase specially wrapped 24 packs of Winn-Dixie-branded bottled water that tout an image of the “Marine Teddy Bear,” children and a red wagon filled with gifts. For every pack sold — each pack retails for $3.69 — 10 cents will be donated to the organization, up to a total of $100,000. Two of Winn-Dixie’s vendors, Niagara Bottling and Silver Springs Bottled Water, are supplying the product.

“This is an easy and healthy way for Winn-Dixie customers to support the Marines and the Toys for Tots program,” said Mary Kellmanson, Winn-Dixie group VP marketing. “Sales of Winn-Dixie’s Toys for Tots water will help make the holidays a little brighter for many children in our community.”

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Walgreens reports sales gain across all sectors

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens saw a rise in sales across the board for the month of November and fiscal first quarter 2011, the drug store chain said Friday.

Total sales for the chain rose 8.6% to $5.83 billion in November, with 2.8 percentage points contributed by Duane Reade stores. Comparable-store sales for the month also saw a gain of 3.2%, although comps results do not include Duane Reade sales. Total sales for the quarter saw a strong gain of 5.9% to $17.33 billion, as comparable-store sales increased 0.8%.

For its pharmacy business, Walgreens’ November sales were boosted by the calendar day shift and increase of flu shots administered at Walgreens pharmacies and clinics — 1 million shots were administered in the month, bringing the year-to-date total to 5.6 million. These factors produced an 8.8% gain for Walgreens’ pharmacy business, while comparable-pharmacy sales increased 4.2%.

Total front-end sales increased 8.2% in November, including 4.5 percentage points from Duane Reade, as front-end comparable-store sales increased 1.5%. Customer traffic in comparable stores increased 0.3%, while basket size increased 1.2%, Walgreens said. Fiscal first quarter 2011 touted similar numbers: Front-end comparable-store sales for the quarter increased 0.4%.

Walgreens opened 49 stores during November, including 12 relocations, acquired nine stores and closed three.

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