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WSJ: Amazon.com to open brick-and-mortar location in Manhattan

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Amazon.com will be opening its first brick-and-mortar store in midtown Manhattan, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal published Thursday, citing people familiar with the plans.  
 
The site is expected to open on 34th St. for the holiday-shopping season. 
 
According to the report, the site will primarily serve as a click-and-pick-up location but will also serve as a distribution center for local couriers. 
 
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Family Dollar Stores generate $10.5 billion in fiscal 2014, up 0.9%

BY Michael Johnsen

MATTHEWS, N.C. — Family Dollar Stores on Wednesday reported a 0.9% increase in total net sales for fiscal 2014 to $10.5 billion for the year ended Aug. 30. 
 
Consistent with the National Retail Federation Calendar, the company’s fiscal 2013 included 53 weeks as compared to 52 weeks in fiscal 2014. The company estimates this extra week contributed approximately $189 million in sales. Excluding this extra week, total net sales for fiscal 2014 increased 2.8% as compared to fiscal 2013. Comparable store sales in fiscal 2014 decreased 2.1% as a result of fewer customer transactions, partially offset by an increase in the average customer transaction value. Sales were strongest in the consumables category, driven primarily by strong growth in refrigerated/frozen food and tobacco.
 
Total net sales for the fourth quarter ended August 30 increased 4.5% to $2.6 billion. Comparable store sales for the 13-week period increased 0.3% as a result of an increase in the average customer transaction value, partially offset by fewer customer transactions. Sales in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 were strongest in the consumables and seasonal and electronics categories.
 
“Although our fourth quarter results continue to reflect the difficult competitive environment, as well as the financial challenges facing our customers, we are continuing to execute our previously announced restructuring initiatives to improve our performance,” stated Howard Levine, Familyh Dollar chairman and CEO. “While we are still in the early stages of our turnaround plan, we believe that the strategic actions taken in fiscal 2014 will position the Company for better sales and earnings performance in fiscal 2015. We anticipate that the first quarter will be our most challenging quarter of fiscal 2015, but we expect momentum will build as we move through the rest of the year.”
 
Over the course of the fourth quarter, Family Dollar implemented a series of restructuring initiatives, including the closing of 375 underperforming stores. As a result, the company incurred $10.4 million in inventory write-downs in an effort to sell through merchandise at stores scheduled to close.
 
During fiscal 2014, the company opened 526 new stores, closed 400 stores, and renovated, relocated or expanded 738 stores. The company expects to open approximately 375 new stores, close approximately 40 stores, and renovate, relocate or expand 775 stores in fiscal 2015.
 
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WATCH IT NOW: Second annual Mack Elevation/DSN Forum drives critical insights

BY DSN STAFF

 

BOSTON — It’s all about unveiling opportunity, absorbing the insights that can really transform a business and then putting those ideas into action. That was the core takeaway of an exclusive one-day executive summit co-hosted by Mack Elevation Forum and Drug Store News in Boston at the Seaport World Trade Center in late August. It was also the key thread that tied together the eight dynamic speakers who headlined the second annual joint Mack Elevation/Drug Store News event. 

Catch important highlights in this exclusive DSNtv video. Watch it all, or fast forward to the speakers you want to see most, including:
 
• “Little Giants Matter,” with Chris Skyers, VP of health & beauty, Wakefern/Shoprite.  Skyers discussed why smaller retailers are critical partners, vital to innovation and deep customer alignment. (TIME: 01:41)
 
• “How to Co-Exist in a World of Private Brands,” with Moe Alkemade, GVP/GMM convenience, Walgreens. Alkemade, who recently led Walgreens’ private brands, lays out the secret for creating experiential brands that deliver game-changing results, deep customer engagement, and differentiation. (TIME: 02:53)
 
• “Seven Reasons New Items Fail,” Larry Levin, EVP and practice leader, iRI. Levin explains the key reasons new items fail, and shares multiple insights to align new item launches, meet revenue targets and achieve consumer expectations. (TIME: 03:46)
 
• Brett Goffin, industry head of retail at Google, discussed the buzz behind omnichannel retailing and why mobile is the platform to own. (TIME: 04:59)
 
• “The Challenge of Challenging Traditional Retail,” Brett Goffin, industry head-retail, Google. Goffin talks about how the best brands overcome the challenge of acquiring the ever-elusive omni-channel shopper and turn them into advocates for your brand. (TIME: 5:01)
 
• “Real-Time Influence,” with Craig Hashi, Lead Pharma Strategist, Twitter. Hashi discussed how to build a relevant, authentic and infectious brand through real-time social media outreach. (TIME: 05:18)
 
•  "Gaining Share of Heart with Millennials," Seth Rogin, chief revenue officer, Mashable, and former New York Times vp advertising, will tackle one of the most elusive and critical consumers for the future growth of all brands, retailers and vendors alike — the Millennial shopper. (TIME: 06:43)
 
• “Embracing Hyper-Rationalization,” with Vic Curtis, SVP pharmacy, Costco. Curtis offers manufacturers a different perspective on item rationalization to help win at Costco; learn the secrets to creating a distinct and winning program in a world of hyper-rationalization. (TIME: 07:49)
 
• “The Big Blind Spot.” Jason Reiser, chief merchant, Family Dollar.  With dollar stores continuing to drive growth, Reiser challenges suppliers to bring innovation to the low-income consumer — a group estimated in value at about 40% of the U.S. economy. (TIME: 08:53)
 

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