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Sobeys, Target Partner on GM

“We know that we have the right strategy in place to build long-term sustainable value." — Marc Poulin, incoming Sobeys CEO

STELLARTON, Nova Scotia — Sobeys, which has already agreed to supply Target stores when they arrive in Canada next year, is expanding its relationship with the Minneapolis-based merchant.

Sobeys is working with Target to create expanded convenience and general merchandise product selections that would be offered in Sobeys’ full-service grocery stores.

Bill McEwan, chief executive officer of Sobeys, mentioned the initiative last week during a conference call with analysts discussing financial results for the fiscal year that ended May 5. He did not provide additional detail.

The call was the last as CEO of Sobeys for McEwan, who as previously reported officially retired later last week.

Sobeys Appoints Poulin as CEO

His successor, Marc Poulin, who previously ran a Sobeys’ division, promised “business as usual” as he takes the reins.

“We know that we have the right strategy in place to build long-term sustainable value,” Poulin said in the conference call. “Our priority will continue to be the timely execution of our initiatives and to effectively communicate our ongoing programs as we meet and exceed our goals.”

Fiscal Year Results

Comparable-store sales at Sobeys increased slightly amid heavy competition and low inflation during the quarter, officials said. Adjusted for a 14th week in last year’s fourth quarter and for the impact of an acquisition this quarter, Sobeys sales increased 2.7% to $3.9 billion (U.S.) for the 13-week period.

Sobeys Makes Small Sales Gain in Q4

Adjusted quarterly net earnings at Sobeys increased 3.6% to $77 million (U.S.). For the 52-week fiscal year, Sobeys posted sales of $15.6 billion (U.S.), a 1.8% increase over the 53-week 2011, or 3% when adjusted for the extra week. Same-store sales for the year were up 1.4%.

McEwan said around 1.5% inflation in grocery categories was offset by falling costs for produce and by deflation brought about by price competition in the Ontario market.

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