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Tesco to resume expansion

BY Doug Desjardins

RIVERSIDE, Calif. Tesco is scheduled to resume opening new Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets on July 2 and plans to add 750 new employees this summer to staff its new stores.

Tesco will open its first store in three months on July 2 in Manhattan Beach, Calif., just south of Los Angeles. The store will be the 61st Fresh & Easy and will feature new in-store signs and more than 200 new products the chain has added to its private label food line since April.

Tesco is emerging from a self-imposed 90-day hold on new openings. It plans to continue openings stores this year in all its major markets in Southern California, Las Vegas and Phoenix.

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Most Philly SuperFresh locations to convert to Pathmark Sav-A-Center

BY Antoinette Alexander

MONTVALE, N.J. The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. has announced that it will convert the majority of its current SuperFresh store locations in the Philadelphia market to its recently premiered Price Impact format under the Pathmark Sav-A-Center banner.

The format recently launched in the Irvington and Edison, N.J. locations. The redesigned Pathmark format provides customers with substantially lower prices.

For example, the new Price Impact format offers a variety of in-store value programs including Yellow Tag Savings. Each week, customers find more than 5,000 Yellow Tag price reductions throughout the store, as well as thousands of items on Price Hold, which will retain the same low price from week-to-week. In addition, hundreds of items ranging from soda to fresh corn are offered at special Power Prices, which are the best buys of the week. The new Price Impact format also provides shoppers with deals on fresh foods such as meats and baked goods, as well as seafood through Pathmark’s Catch of The Week program.

The company also stated that the existing Pathmark stores in this market will converted to the new Price Impact format. A number of SuperFresh locations will remain and retain the Fresh format with “significant upgrades.”

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Rite Aid sees near 50 percent revenue increase due to Brooks/Eckerd acquisition

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid on Thursday posted $6.6 billion in revenues for its first quarter ended May 31, representing an increase of 49.3 percent compared with the year-ago quarter, primarily as a result of the acquisition of the Brooks/Eckerd stores. Net loss for the first quarter was $156.6 million, or $.20 per diluted share, compared with last year’s first-quarter net income of $27.6 million, or $.04 per diluted share.

Same-store sales (which do not yet include those Brooks/Eckerd stores) for the 13-week first quarter increased 1.5 percent, consisting of a 1.4 percent pharmacy same-store sales increase and a 1.7 percent increase in front-end same-store sales.

The number of prescriptions filled in same-stores increased 0.2 percent. Prescription sales accounted for 67.6 percent of total sales, and third-party prescription sales represented 96.2 percent of pharmacy sales.

During the quarter, Rite Aid completed the conversion of all of the acquired Brooks and Eckerd store systems and remains on schedule to finish the minor remodels and complete the integration by October of this year.

“We increased both pharmacy and front end sales in the core Rite Aid stores during the quarter, and sales trends in our acquired stores continued to improve,” stated Mary Sammons, Rite Aid chairman, president and chief executive officer. “We also passed a major milestone in the integration of the former Brooks/Eckerd stores by completing the store systems conversion. Today pharmacy dispensing, cash registers and all business applications are now consistent in all of our stores, and we can manage our business seamlessly nationwide. We’re in the home stretch now, finishing the remaining minor remodels of the acquired stores.”

The completion of the remodels, which typically provides a lift in the remodeled stores, and other chain-wide pharmacy and front-end initiatives to be introduced over the course of the second quarter ought to help offset the impact of a down economy, Sammons said.

In the first quarter, Rite Aid opened 5 stores, relocated 6 stores, acquired 8 stores, remodeled 39 stores and closed 68 stores, the majority of which were related to combining acquired stores in close proximity to existing stores. Stores in operation at the end of the first quarter totaled 5,004.

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