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Stater Bros. reports Q3 sales rise

BY Allison Cerra

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Third-quarter sales for Stater Bros. rose more than $10 million during the period ended June 24, the retailer said Tuesday.

Third-quarter sales increased 1.14% to $949.8 million, compared with $939 million in third quarter 2011. Same-store sales also rose 1.14% during the third quarter. For the 39-week period ended June 24, sales rose 3.51% to $2.8 billion, compared with $96.7 million in the year-ago period. Same-stores sales for the 39-week period also rose 3.51%.

Stater Bros. said its third-quarter net income declined 3.9% to $7.3 million, compared with $7.6 million, while net income for the 39-week period was $32.7 million, an increase of 65% over the same period last year. The company noted that during 39-week period of fiscal 2012, it incurred $10.1 million less in interest expense, compared with the same period of the prior year.

"We have been able to grow our sales and our customer counts in a time of unprecedented economic challenges and a growing competitive environment because our valued customer has responded to our marketing programs," Stater Bros. chairman, president and CEO Jack Brown said. "At the beginning of the economic downturn we realized that our customers would be under tremendous pressure to make ends meet. We decided to do our part by making sure that our customers received value and great customer service on each of their visits to our supermarkets. We have continued to keep prices low, so our customers get great value on their shopping dollars.

"In the first quarter of fiscal 2011, we paid down debt and refinanced a significant portion of our remaining debt which reduced our interest expense," Brown added. "We have also focused on reducing our operating expenses where possible. These savings have made it possible to provide great value to our customers. They have responded by continuing to shop at their local Stater Bros. Market."

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Hangover Joe’s expands distribution to Canada

BY Allison Cerra

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Hangover Joe’s is bringing its officially licensed product of Warner Bros.’ "The Hangover" movie to Canada through a new distribution deal.

The company said its Hangover Recovery Shot will roll out to Canadian markets through a strategic distribution partnership with Rage Beverages.

"The Canadian market shows great potential for success," Hangover Joe’s co-founder Mike Jaynes said. "With 34 million Canadian residents and a well-established distribution partner like Rage Beverages, we expect to reach millions of dollars in sales in the Canadian market."

The 2-oz. hangover shot features Hangover Joe’s patent-pending, proprietary Get Up and Go Blend — a blend of taurine, kudzu, green tea leaf and acai fruit extracts, along with goji berry concentrate, niacin and vitamins B6 and B12, among other ingredients. And the Hangover Recovery Shot contains only as much caffeine as a single cup of premium coffee, the company stated.


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QI initiative seeks to provide patients with clearer medication information at the pharmacy

BY Allison Cerra

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A new quality improvement initiative that aims to disseminate newly designed patient medication information to patients filling prescriptions at participating pharmacies has been launched.

The QI initiative stems from an ongoing multistakeholder workgroup convened by the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform at the Brookings Institution under a cooperative agreement with the Food and Drug Administration. The workgroup includes: Catalina Health; the Medical Cognition Laboratory at Duke University; Emory University School of Medicine; the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University; GlaxoSmithKline; Janssen; Pfizer; Purdue University College of Pharmacy and the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Effectiveness Research.

Catalina Health said that through voluntary telephone and online responses, it will survey patients to confirm that they received the new PMI, assess whether patients found the information useful and determine how they would like to receive this newly formatted patient medication information in the future. All survey data collected by Catalina and other healthcare partners will be kept in accordance with all federal and state privacy laws.

"Patients frequently receive safety information about their prescriptions that is difficult for them to understand and too often not followed correctly," Catalina Health president Renee Selman said. "Catalina Health has a long history of working to get patients clearer information. In 2008, Catalina was one of the groups that spearheaded a citizen’s petition urging FDA to improve the information patients receive. Based on efforts the FDA had taken, the citizen petition was withdrawn. We are proud to be leading this quality improvement initiative to see what patients think about the newly formatted information."

Janet Woodcock, the director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the FDA, said, "The FDA wants patients to have the most important information needed to take their medications safely. We commend these organizations for helping to generate evidence to ensure that PMI meets that need."


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