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Winn-Dixie announces new marketing leadership; results for Q1 2009

BY Jenna Duncan

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. Winn-Dixie Stores has named Mary Kellmanson to head of its marketing department and reported its earnings for the first quarter of fiscal 2009, the company today announced.

Kellmanson’s daily duties will cover overseeing business and strategic operations for the Winn-Dixie advertising, communications and marketing departments. She will report to Dan Portnoy, chief merchandising and marketing officer.

Kellmanson formerly served Winn-Dixie as vice president of marketing. She came to Winn-Dixie’s management team after working for about 15 years at Wegmans Food Markets as vice president of advertising and marketing. At Wegman’s, she oversaw branding, loyalty card operations, market research, new store openings and on-line and co-op programs.

“[Kellmanson]’s strong marketing background will serve our Company well as we continue focusing our efforts on providing a fresh and local shopping experience to our customers every day,” Portnoy said. “Her passion for the retail industry, coupled with her energy and leadership will drive us to delivering our promise of getting better all the time.”

Winn-Dixie has also announced its earnings for the first quarter of 2009.

The company’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization totaled $27 million, reflecting a 38.5 percent increase, or an increase of $7.5 million from $19.5 million in the first quarter 2008. Winn-Dixie estimated $2.7 million in earnings due to Hurricanes Ike and Gustav, exceeding predicted storm-related losses.

However, Winn-Dixie did report a net loss of $2.3 million, ($0.04 per diluted share), compared to a net loss of $0.8 million ($0.01 per diluted share), in the first quarter of fiscal 2008. Same store sales saw an increase of 3 percent.

“We are very pleased with our financial results for the quarter,” Winn-Dixie chairman, chief excutice officer and president, Peter Lynch, said. “We improved adjusted EBITDA while also delivering solid sales growth. We also benefited from increased sales both before and after the storms that affected many of our communities in Louisiana, Florida, Georgia and along the Gulf Coast. Our associates put forth a great team effort that enabled us to re-open stores quickly to better serve our customers.”

Net sales for the first quarter 2009 were reported at $1.7 billion, up or 3.4 percent or $55 million compared to the same quarter 2008.

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Ahold reports 3.9 percent increase in 3Q sales

BY Jim Wright

AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands Ahold, parent company of Stop & Shop, Giant-Landover and Giant Carlisle, announced a third-quarter net sales of 3.9 percent compared with the year-ago period. The company also reported consolidated net sales of EUR 5.8 billion for the third quarter ended Oct. 5, 2008 for an increase of 7.6 percent at constant exchange rates.

“In the turbulent economic environment, our continued focus on bringing value to our customers led to a solid performance,” the company stated. “ We remain vigilant and will respond to any changes in consumer and competitor behavior.”

According to the company, net sales at Stop & Shop/Giant Landover increased 4.4 percent to $3.9 billion. Net sales included $14 million of sales to Tops. Prior to its disposal, such sales were recorded as intercompany sales.

Identical sales increased 4.6 percent at Stop & Shop (3.8 percent excluding gasoline net sales) and increased 0.7 percent at Giant-Landover (0.6 percent excluding gasoline net sales), impacted by lower pharmacy sales.

Comparable sales increased 4.8 percent at Stop & Shop and increased 1 percent at Giant-Landover.

Net sales at Giant Carlisle increased 11.8 percent to $1.1 billion.Identical sales increased 8.0 percent (5.4 percent excluding gasoline net sales) while comparable sales increased 8.7 percent.

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Winn-Dixie, Sony BMG partner to offer prepaid MPG download cards

BY Michael Johnsen

JACKSON VILLE , Fla Winn-Dixie, through an agreement with Sony BMG Music Entertainment, is making the purchase of prerecorded music through prepaid cards—music that’s downloaded to iPods or other MP3 players available to shoppers across its 521 stores.

The Platinum MusicPass is a credit card-size digital album card that allows consumers to download full-length albums in the form of high-quality MP3 files.

“MusicPass is an important part of Sony BMG’s ongoing campaign to bring its artists’ music to fans in new and innovative ways and to develop compellingnew business models,” stated Thomas Hesse, president of global digital business and U.S. sales for Sony BMG Music Entertainment.

 “Winn-Dixie was one of the first retailers in the U.S. to partner with Sony BMG on this initiative,” commented Rich Romano, manager for Winn-Dixie’s prepaid card sales. “Sony BMG has been at the forefront of new entertainment technology and is home to some of the biggest names in the recording industry. Teaming with Sony BMG provides our customers the opportunity to purchase new release albums in an innovative way while they do their grocery shopping.”

The cards themselves are high-quality collectibles featuring artist images and album information. The MP3 files are delivered through MusicPass and can play on computers, as well as on all MP3 players, including iPods. “This makes them a simple, easy-to-use solution that appeals to fans who already access their music on the Internet, as well as to those consumers who are just getting into the digital realm,” Hesse said.

Platinum MusicPass cards have a suggested retail price of $12.99 and are found near the gift card mall displays in most Winn-Dixie stores. The cards include the complete digital album plus bonus material. In the case of compilations, MusicPass cards include extensive tracks. Purchasers scratch the back of the card to reveal a pin number. They then visit www.musicpass.com to download their music files and any bonus material.

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