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Mansuy honored with Rite Aid award

BY DSN STAFF

CAMP HILL, Pa. —Gary Mansuy, senior director of merchandising for Rite Aid, received the company’s highest honor, the President’s Award, posthumously at the company’s recent annual management conference and supplier exhibition in August.

“Gary was someone we always trusted to do the right thing. He consistently demonstrated integrity, talent and met every performance standard,” stated Mary Sammons, Rite Aid chairman, president and chief executive officer. “He was a person of action, not just words, and worked tirelessly with corporate planners, regional vice presidents, store merchandisers and store managers to reap the best possible results.”

“I had so much respect for Gary on a personal and professional basis,” added Jim Mastrian, Rite Aid special adviser on corporate strategy who, as Rite Aid’s former chief operating officer, worked closely with Mansuy. “He was more than a business associate to me. Gary was a man of action. He didn’t say much, his actions spoke louder than his words. I loved his style, no fancy words and no idle promises. He simply got the job done, the right way.”

A U.S. Navy veteran, Mansuy joined the Rite Aid team in 1970 as a store manager in Hoboken, N.J. He was promoted to district supervisor and then division manager, where he oversaw 130 stores. Mansuy moved to corporate headquarters in the early 90s and held various positions in operations and merchandising.

Most recently, as senior director of merchandising, Mansuy played an integral role in developing merchandising reset plans for the integration of the Brooks and Eckerd drug store chain. Mansuy, a resident of Lewisberry, Pa., passed away June 21 at the age of 61. He is survived by his wife Patti, as well as two daughters, a son and a stepdaughter.

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Fred’s reports both monthly and quarterly record sales

BY Allison Cerra

MEMPHIS, Tenn. Fred’s Inc. reported record sales for the five-week and eight-month periods which ended Oct. 6, 2007.

The company said Friday that its total sales for the month increased 2 percent to $161.4 million compared to the same period last year. Total sales for the year-to-date period increased 5 percent to $1.157 billion.

Same store sales for the month rose 1 percent on top of a 5 percent increase in September last year. On a comparable store basis, sales increased 1.3 percent through the first eight months of fiscal 2007 compared with a 2.7 percent gain in the year-earlier period. Same-store sales are a key predictor of how well the company performs in stores that have been open for several years, and how well the newly open stores will do in the future.

“September sales came in at the low end of our forecasted range of a 1 percent to 3 percent increase, affected by unusually warm weather across our markets and the disruption caused by the updating of 98 stores under our refresher program,” said Fred’s Stores chief executive officer Michael J. Hayes. “We look forward to finishing our refresher program in October with the last 60 stores and to a better economic environment for our customers going forward, as the benefits of the minimum wage increase and the focus of Federal Reserve Board on the credit crunch take hold.”

Fred’s opened four stores at the end of September, bringing total store openings to 22 for the year-to-date period. These new store openings have been balanced by the company’s decision to close underperforming stores. In the remaining months, Fred’s Stores said that it plans to open 14 additional stores, with no further planned closings, which will result in a net increase in stores of 2 percent for the year.

Fred’s Inc. operates 702 discount general merchandise stores, including 24 franchised stores in the southeastern United States.

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Target to open another 61 stores nationwide

BY Allison Cerra

MINNEAPOLIS Target announced that it will be opening an additional 61 Target stores, the company said Friday.

The stores, which will all open Oct. 14, will open in 22 different states. The majority of the stores are making their debut in Arizona, California, Ohio and Texas.

In addition to offering the latest in trend-right merchandise, Target also brings a 44-year tradition of community involvement. The retail chain commits itself to local communities donating more than $3 million each week to area nonprofit organizations, becoming involved in local volunteerism efforts through Target Volunteers, and orchestrating other special projects that help meet area social service, arts and education needs.

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