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Supervalu promotes Huff to SVP specialty retail post

BY Michael Johnsen

MINNEAPOLIS Supervalu on Thursday announced the promotion of Brian Huff, president of the company’s Cub Foods division, to the position of SVP specialty retail at Supervalu.

As part of a realigned, customer-centric leadership structure at Supervalu, Huff will report to Pete Van Helden, EVP retail operations. Huff will have responsibility for the bigg’s, Cub Foods, Farm Fresh, Hornbacher’s, Shop ‘n Save and Shoppers Food & Pharmacy divisions effective immediately, the company stated.

Huff’s appointment further solidifies the important partnership between Supervalu’s retail, merchandising and marketing groups. Strengthening the critical relationship between these operations allows Supervalu to better anticipate and respond to the changing needs of consumers.

“As we realign our retail business to best serve our customers, I am privileged to have [Huff] take on increased leadership responsibilities within our team,” Van Helden said. “His extraordinary talent and leadership, combined with outstanding retail experience, strengthen our ability to exceed the needs of our shoppers and advance our growth.”

Huff, 50, joined Supervalu in 2003 as VP merchandising at Cub Foods. In 2005, he was named president of Cub Foods, leading the division to continued improvement in operations and financial results. Prior to joining Supervalu, Huff served as VP merchandising at Sam’s Club. Having spent his entire career in retail grocery, Huff has also held positions at Price Chopper, Bruno’s and Metro Food Markets.

A successor to Huff, as president of Cub Foods, will be named at a later date, Supervalu stated.

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P&M makes grilling easier with recyclable all-in-one EZ Grill

BY Anna Mcgrath

NEW YORK P&M is rolling out its new environmentally friendly all-in-one EZ Grill, perfect for the summer season.

According to manufacturers, the portable EZ Grill is a 100% recyclable instant grill, complete with foil pan, grill grate, stand and charcoal.

The disposable instant grill is all-natural and free from all additives, chemicals and fillers. It lights with one match and is perfect for tailgating, camping or a barbecue.

EZ Grill can be found at Winn-Dixie stores, Red Apple Markets and drugstore.com and is available in two sizes.

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Standard & Poor raises outlook on Rite Aid

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services on Tuesday revised its outlook on Rite Aid to stable from negative, the company announced.

“The rating action follows Rite Aid’s successful refinancing of the bulk of its 2010 debt maturities, including a new $1 billion asset-based revolving credit facility, thereby improving its liquidity position and enhancing financial flexibility,” stated Standard & Poor’s credit analyst Ana Lai. “Further, Rite Aid’s operating performance remains adequate and we expect cash flow generation to improve due to operating initiatives to reduce inventory and capital spending cuts, resulting in good levels of positive free cash flow.”

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services suggested it would consider revising the outlook to positive if the company is successful at turning around the Eckerd stores’ performance, thereby increasing profitability and cash flow, with credit metrics strengthening such that leverage falls to less than 7.0x.

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