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Fred’s Reier and Thompson to retire

BY Michael Johnsen

MEMPHIS, Tenn. Fred’s on Friday announced the retirement of both John Reier, president, and Gerald Thompson, executive vice president and chief operating officer, pursuant to the company’s management succession plan.

Both men had previously expressed their intentions to retire following the transition to a new company president, which occurred in September when Fred’s named Bruce Efird to that position.

“John and Jerry have made significant contributions to our strategies, operations and organizational structure, and we are grateful for their hard work and dedication to Fred’s, our business and the more than 10,000 Fred’s employees. We wish them all the best in their retirement years,” stated Michael Hayes, Fred’s chief executive officer.

“Collaborating with Bruce Efird over the past five months, John and Jerry have effected a smooth transition at the top of our management team,” Hayes added. “This progress positions Fred’s to continue the important initiatives underway that we believe provide a solid foundation for future growth.”

Fred’s operates 713 discount general merchandise stores mainly in the southeastern United States, including 24 franchised Fred’s stores. 

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Save Mart president Spengler retires

BY Jim Frederick

MODESTO, Calif. Save Mart Supermarkets president Bob Spengler retired today after coming out of retirement two years ago to help acquire Albertson’s LLC.

“I’m very, very confident with the management team that’s in place now,” said Spengler, 67. “And I feel this is a company on the cusp of being a far greater success than it is now.” Spengler will not be replaced as president. Save Mart chief executive officer Bob Piccinini will continue to head the company.

Spengler initially retired in 2005 but returned to the chain in 2006 to lead the acquisition of 130 Albertson’s stores in Northern California and Nevada following Albertson’s purchase by Supervalu. During that time, Save Mart also resurrected the Lucky Supermarkets name and converted more than 70 Albertson’s stores to the Lucky banner.

Spengler spent 22 years with Save Mart and leaves behind a 248-store chain that operates stores under the Save Mart, Lucky and FoodMaxx banners.

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Longs reports drop in same store sales

BY Doug Desjardins

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. Longs Drug reported a 1.5 percent drop in same store sales for December.

Total retail sales were up 0.7 percent to $529 million from the same period last year. Front-end sales were to blame for the drop, with sales declining 2.8 percent in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

Pharmacy sales for the 510-store chain were up 0.2 percent for the month.

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