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Walmart moves forward with Operation Main Street Initiative

BY Michael Johnsen

BENTONVILLE, Ark. Walmart on Wednesday announced phase two of its Operation Main Street Initiative—a program designed to maintain the discounter’s “position as America’s low-price leader,” the company said.

“At Walmart, we’re committed to offering low prices every day, not just at Christmas,” stated John Agwunobi, Walmart SVP and president, health and wellness. “While many are still wary of Wall Street, Operation Main Street helps families coast-to-coast save on the items they need most. From January through December this year, our customers can count on us to work tirelessly every day to save them money so they can live better.”

Phase Two of Operation Main Street offers significant savings on products that people are likely to use in pursuit of their New Year’s resolutions, and includes rolled back prices on weight loss-themed consumables like Kellogg’s Special K Waffles and Yoplait Light Yogurt; gym equipment; leisure wear for the physically active; and smoking cessation products like NicoDerm.

Since November, Operation Main Street has saved consumers as much as $400 million, according to Walmart.

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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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