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Supervalu reports loss for Q3 2008

BY Jenna Duncan

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. Supervalu has reported a net loss for the third quarter 2008. Earnings declined from the previous year, the company said Wednesday.

Superval, which operates under the banners Albertsons, Bristol Farms, Cub Foods, Acme Markets and Farm Fresh, has adjusted its targets for capital spending and debt reduction for fiscal 2010. Company officials said that Supervalu now anticipates a net loss for 2009. 

The company reported its third-quarter net loss to be $13.95 per share, or $2.9 billion, compared to net earnings of $0.66 per share, or $141 million total, for the same time the previous year. 

The reported gross profit was $2.3 billion, or 22.4% of net sales. That was fairly steady compared to $2.3 billion, or 22.2% of net sales, from the previous year. The company said the steady gross margin was a result of various merchandising initiatives plus higher margins on fuel, and a change in its business segment mix.

Supervalu said net sales for the most-recently concluded period totaled $10.2 billion, which was almost flat compared to the same time in the previous year. The company said retail food net sales remained steady at $7.9 billion, a stability attributed to an offset from the impact of store closures and negative same-store sales of 0.5%. 

The company also said that looking forward to fiscal 2009, it expects results to reflect a loss of between $12.39 per share and $12.14 per share. Previously, Supervalu’s predications showed earnings of between $2.86 and $2.96 per share.

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Weis names David Hepfinger to serve as CEO

BY Michael Johnsen

SUNBURY, Pa. Weis Markets on Monday named David Hepfinger, 50, to the additional post of CEO, succeeding Norman Rich, who is retiring.

“This has been a carefully planned succession,” said Jonathan Weis, Weis Markets’ vice chairman. “Since joining our company in February, Dave has had an enormous impact on our company. He is a highly respected executive with broad-based operational experience and he excels at developing and managing a growing and diverse organization in a fast-moving retail environment. In the coming years, he will oversee the development and execution of our strategic growth and go-to-market initiatives.”

Hepfinger, now president and CEO, was Weis’ president and COO prior to the announcement. 

He will report to Weis Markets’ chairman Robert Weis and vice chairman Jonathan Weis.

Prior to joining Weis Markets, Hepfinger was senior vice president of retailing and administration at Price Chopper, a 116-store supermarket chain based in Rotterdam, N.Y.

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Spartan offers gas for $0.99 per gallon to shoppers who spend $100 or more

BY Michael Johnsen

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. Spartan Stores offered shoppers 10-year-old gas prices—$0.99 per gallon—for people who spent more than $100 on groceries at more than 30 designated Spartan Stores flying under the D&W Fresh Markets and Family Fare banners this past Sunday through Tuesday, a local daily reported Saturday.

“It’s one area where we can continue to offer consumers value and build their loyalty,” Jeanne Norcross, Spartan Stores spokeswoman, told the Grand Rapids Press.

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