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Supervalu net earnings slip in Q4

BY Dan Berthiaume

MINNEAPOLIS — Net earnings at Supervalu Inc. fell 14% to $36 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 from $42 million in the identical period a year earlier. Higher selling and administrative expenses, including store closure and benefit costs, helped reduce profits.

Net sales were $4.36 billion, 10% higher than $3.95 billion. The addition of a 53rd week in the fiscal year, strong performance at the Save-A-Lot and Retail Food banners, and a supply chain services agreement with the Haggen grocery chain in the Northwest helped boost sales performance.

“We finished the year with a strong quarter, highlighted by positive identical store sales at both Save-A-Lot and Retail Food as well as the transition of the first stores in our important new relationship with Haggen,” said president and CEO Sam Duncan. “Overall, fiscal 2015 was a year of strategic investment in all three of our business segments and I’m pleased with how these investments have positioned us for growth in fiscal 2016.”

During the full fiscal year, net income septupled to $700,000 from $100,000. Net sales increased 4% to $17.82 million from $17.15 million.

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Hy-Vee launches online shopping service

BY Gina Acosta

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Hy-Vee is joining the legion of grocery chains with online ordering, delivery and store pickup.
 
According to KCCI-TV in Des Moines, Iowa, the regional supermarket is rolling out a service called Aisles Online in select stores.
 
The news site quotes Hy-Vee as saying that the average order has about 30 items and takes a worker about a half-hour to compile. The items are scanned, loaded up and delivered. Or customers can pick them up at the store. Delivery costs $4.95 per order, and pick-up costs $2.95 per order, with the charges dropped for orders of $100 or more.

A FAQ of the new service can be found here

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Kroger acquires portion of DunnhumbyUSA

BY Ryan Chavis

CINCINNATI — DunnhumbyUSA, a customer science company, and Kroger on Monday announced a new arrangement that the companies said will offer great flexibility regarding the use of data to create opportunities for innovation and growth. As part of the new agreement, a long-term license and service agreement will replace the existing joint venture the companies are currently a part of. Kroger will also acquire certain assets from dunnhumbyUSA and a new business — called 84.51° — will operate using those assets.
 
Dunnhumby Ltd will operate in the United States under the name Dunnhumby and will be able to expand its client base and accelerate growth as part of the new arrangement with Kroger, the companies stated. The company will continue to operate from offices in Cincinnati, New York, Boston, Chicago and Sacramento. 
 
As part of the arrangements, Kroger will retain duhnhumby Ltd’s technology to continue to develop Kroger’s customer insights and loyalty programs. More than 500 employees of dunnhumbyUSA will now be associates of 84.51°. Additionally, current CPG companies that serve Kroger customers and work with duhnhumbyUSA will transition to the new business. Stuart Aiken, who led duhnhumbyUSA, will now be CEO of 84.51°.
 
"Kroger and dunnhumby revolutionized retailing in the U.S. by focusing on the customer, and we intend to do it again with 84.51°. We are launching 84.51° with a powerful foundation, including a decade of experience and a team of incredibly talented associates from both dunnhumbyUSA and Kroger. The ability to combine what we already know with other partners is exciting and will speed up innovation. We expect these innovations to grow our business and deliver a world-class customer experience," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO. "We will continue to utilize data science for the benefit of the customer and to deliver a personalized experience, both in store and online. Doing so will continue to differentiate Kroger and create value for our shareholders."
 
Financial terms of the agreement are not available. The new businesses will begin operations on April 27. There aren’t expected to be any staff reductions as a part of the acquisition. 
 
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