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Stater Bros. launches ‘Healthy Selections’ program

BY DSN STAFF

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. —The Stater Bros. supermarket chain hopes to help customers lead a healthier lifestyle with its new ‘Healthy Selections’ dietitian program that will educate shoppers with in-store signage and frequent seminars.

The new program encourages healthy eating and small lifestyle changes to lead a healthier life, and will be headed by registered dietician Melissa Hooper. The program will include in-store messaging to highlight healthy products, monthly ads in Stater Bros. circulars, nutrition seminars and store tours.

“Stater Bros. is pleased to introduce this new program, which will help our customers make healthier food choices and improve their health,” said chief executive officer Jack Brown. “We’re also pleased to have Melissa on board to help us implement this new program.”

Hooper specializes in nutrition communication and behavior modification, and she most recently won the 2007 “Emerging Dietetic Leader” award from the Kansas City District Dietetic Association.

The 164-store Stater Bros. chain also is rolling out its new “Blue Ribbon Supermarkets” in Southern California and opened its newest store in September in Palm Desert.

Blue Ribbon stores feature a Super RX Pharmacy, an expanded selection of deli offerings and sandwiches and a “Garden Fresh” produce department with a wider selection of organic products. The new stores also are going green, and are outfitted with skylights to reduce the need for daytime lighting and energy-efficient refrigeration systems that reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

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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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