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Target reports June sales

BY Allison Cerra

MINNEAPOLIS Target reported that its net retail sales for the five weeks ended July 4 were $5.69 million, a decrease of 2.6% from $5.842 million during the year-ago period.

On this same basis, June comparable-store sales decreased 6.2%.

Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and CEO of Target, addressed the sales results, stating that the retail giant expects to have earnings per share meet or exceed 64 cents.

“Sales for the month of June continued to reflect a very challenging economic environment. Consistent with our first quarter experience, however, we continue to mitigate the impact of a substantial portion of this sales shortfall on our profitability through better than expected gross margin rate and continued expense discipline in our retail segment,” said Steinhafel.

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Supervalu announces retirement of two executives, change in leadership structure

BY Allison Cerra

MINNEAPOLIS Supervalu has announced the retirement of two key executives.

Mike Jackson, president and COO, and Kevin Tripp, EVP and president of the company’s Retail Midwest region, have resigned. Their last day at Supervalu will be Aug. 14, 2009.

Following the departure of these executives, the company will realign its leadership structure to become more customer-focused. Craig Herkert, who joined Supervalu in May as CEO, will assume the additional role of president. The company’s three retail regions will be combined under Pete Van Helden, who will become EVP retail operations. Van Helden currently serves as EVP Retail West. The company’s Save-A-Lot banner will report to Herkert and Bristol Farms will continue to report to Pamela Knous, EVP and CFO.

The company also will create a new health-and-wellness division to facilitate stronger alignment between Supervalu’s pharmacy operations and its health and beauty offering, creating a total health-and-wellness experience for customers. This new division will be led by Duncan Mac Naughton, EVP merchandising and marketing.

Jackson and Tripp have both been with the company for more than 30 years (Jackson with Supervalu, and Tripp with the former Albertson’s, Inc.) and have held leadership roles in multiple functional areas. “Mike and Kevin have made significant contributions to Supervalu’s growth over the past several years, and have been instrumental in laying the groundwork for our company’s ongoing success,” said Herkert. “We wish them well as they move into a new stage of their lives.”

The company’s new leadership structure will further streamline the critical partnership between its retail operations, pharmacy operations and merchandising and marketing groups so that it can even more effectively anticipate and respond to the changing needs of its customers. “This is another critical step in the implementation of our centrally led merchandising model, designed to fully leverage Supervalu’s scale while preserving our local relevance. Pete and Duncan will work closely together to ensure a smooth and effective transition,” concluded Herkert.

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Hyland’s launches Web site for Latina mothers

BY Michael Johnsen

LOS ANGELES Hyland’s on Wednesday launched ComienzosSaludables.com, a social networking, education-based Web site for Latina mothers.

Comienzos Saludables (translated Healthy Beginnings) continues Hyland’s strategy to improve the availability of, and accessibility to, important healthcare resources for a growing Hispanic population.

“Hyland’s has a longstanding commitment to providing accessible health care,” stated J.P. Borneman, chairman and CEO of Hyland’s. “With 25% of U.S. moms of Hispanic origin, that access, in this case, comes in the form of a Web site full of culturally relevant, in-language educational material for Hispanic families. Our goal is to empower pre- and post-natal Hispanic mothers with information and a community of support as they strive to give their babies the very healthiest start in life.”

The new site offers Hispanic mothers a fully bilingual Spanish/English community to assist with information on pregnancy, infant care, raising a family, healthy lifestyle and treating a family’s health issues with natural medicines.

Addressing the needs of its Hispanic consumer is not a new initiative at Hyland’s. Already, the company has made packaging on 22 products Spanish/English bilingual, developed a baby development calendar in Spanish and sponsored a community health worker program called Salud con Hyland’s.

Studies show that a growing number of Hispanics are online and seeking information in their own language. Specifically, according to eMarketer, 23 million U.S. Hispanics were online in 2008, and that number is expected to surpass 29 million by 2012. Also, according to AOL/Roper Public Affairs Hispanic Cyberstudy 2005, Spanish-language content is important to 75% of Hispanic Web users.

With 70% of Latina mothers under the age of 30, and with an increasing number of Hispanics shown to have a natural affinity for online social networking, Hyland’s expects tremendous response from Latina mothers to its new site. Free membership to Comienzos Saludables will provide access to interactive community tools, including community forums, photo galleries, blogs, personal profile pages, more than 400 articles on family health and lifestyle topics and monthly newsletters.

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