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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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Winn-Dixie beefs up ‘Good ’Til’ program extending discounts

BY Michael Johnsen

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. Winn-Dixie Stores on Wednesday announced that the current phase of its “Good ’Til” program, which offers customers reduced pricing on more than 1,000 products, will receive increased focus in its weekly circular beginning today. “Good ’Til New Years” runs through Jan. 7 and gives shoppers the opportunity to take advantage of discounts throughout the store when they use their Customer Reward Card.

In addition to the “Good ’Til” program, Winn-Dixie also offers “Buy One, Get One Free” and “10 for $10” sales on an ongoing basis.

“In these difficult economic times, our vendor partners have been instrumental in helping us be a better neighbor to our customers, by locking in these special prices for the next 12 weeks,” Robin Miller, Winn-Dixie’s director of communications, said.

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