retail news in context, analysis with attitude

...with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary...

• The Bergen Record reports that Sam Martin, A&P's president/CEO, will begin serving as the chain's on-camera spokesman in a series of commercials scheduled to begin airing in the New York and Philadelphia metro areas this week. Martin will be shown in A&P's various banners, interacting with customers, and saying, "If you haven't been in our stores for awhile, we welcome you back."

A&P emerged from bankruptcy protection two months ago. Not only is this the first time that A&P has used its CEO as a spokesman, it also is the first time that it has advertised all of its banners in the same campaign.

I think that it is admirable that Martin is doing this, and it certainly cannot hurt for the severely damaged chain to have a face and a personality attached to it. The problem is that it may be too late ... the brand may be so compromised that nothing will help. But they have to try something...

• Delhaize America and Food Lion announced yesterday the re-opening of its distribution center in Dunn, N.C.  The facility was severely damaged on April 16, 2011 by a tornado, and the company recently completed construction and expansion activities at the center.

According to the company, "The distribution center in Dunn, N.C., services 270 Food Lion stores in North Carolina. With today’s grand re-opening, the facility includes an expanded refrigerated and frozen section of an additional 54,000 square feet that provides added storage for more than 4,000 dairy, meat and frozen food products.  On average, the distribution facility ships more than 1.4 million cases of products each week and houses 12,800 items."
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