Amazon to sell groceries under generic label: report

31 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Amazon ‘to launch range of own-brand food’.

It’s no wonder Amazon is expanding its private-label offerings: Generic goods — estimated to be nearly 30% cheaper than name brands — sold $120 billion last year, up 2.1% from 2013, according to research company Information Resources. According to The Wall Street Journal, Amazon has initiated talks with manufacturers such as TreeHouse Foods (THS), which supplies retailers with their own line of food products.The online retail giant launched its first private-label product, nappies, in December, but is now pushing into everyday food and drink products such as milk and cereal. Amazon is taking on other big-box stores like Target, which sells perishable goods under the generic label Archer Farms, and Costco, who does so under the name Kirkland.

The newspaper also reported that Amazon filed for trademark protection in early May for more than two dozen categories under its existing Elements brand including coffee, soup, pasta as well as household products like razor blades and cleaning products. Amazon has already approached manufacturers with a view to agreeing a deal that will see third-parties produce the food but Amazon sell it in its own packaging.

At the time, company watchers speculated that the brand will be used to launch other products, mirroring the private-label strategy used by other large retailers. Last year Amazon launched its own-brand of nappies and baby wipes, promising that that other competitively priced, “premium” everyday consumer products would follow. Costco (Kirkland), Walmart (Great Value) and Target (Up & Up) use their private label brands – an arrangement in which products are exclusively manufactured by a third-party for a retailer – to drum up sales in popular categories at their stores.

The Elements line is only available to members of Amazon’s Prime $99-a-year subscription club, with the lowest prices available for those who are also members of its Amazon Mom group. They also help build customer loyalty — just ask some Costco fans about the Kirkland brand – and pad retailers’ profit margins since they don’t require as much marketing costs. Such in-house brands are also finding more acceptance with customers, many of whom are increasingly looking for bargains and are more open to buying store brands. But about a month after the launch, Amazon ditched Elements diapers after customers complained about the quality. “Based on early customer feedback, we are making some design improvements to the diaper,” the company told customers in an email.

Amazon has never been shy about its ambition to enter the grocery business, and customers can buy a wide array of items — but not perishable products — on the site. Its grocery shopping service, Prime Pantry, was introduced a year ago, in which Prime members can add items to their online cart and have them delivered to their homes for $5.99 a box.

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UPDATE 1-Western Refining to buy rest of Northern Tier

20 Jan 2016 | Author: | No comments yet »

JPMorgan Chase & Co. Upgrades Northern Tier Energy LP (NTI) to “Neutral”.

Under the deal, Northern Tier unit holders would receive $15 a unit in cash and 0.2986 Western Refining share for each common unit held, or roughly $26.21 a unit based on Monday’s close. EL PASO, Texas and TEMPE, Ariz., Dec. 21, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Western Refining, Inc. (NYSE:WNR) and Northern Tier Energy LP (NYSE:NTI) today jointly announced that they have entered into a merger agreement whereby Western will acquire all of NTI’s outstanding common units not already owned by Western. Northern Tier Chief Executive Dave Lamp in prepared remarks Monday said that the MLP model “has not been rewarded by the equity market, as evidenced by the historical disconnect between NTI’s high yield and low unit price.” “With a simplified corporate structure and diverse geographic base, the new Western will be well positioned to unlock additional value for shareholders,” Mr. As an alternative to the cash and stock consideration, each NTI unitholder may elect to receive, per NTI unit, either $26.06 in cash or 0.7036 of a share of WNR.

Assuming completion of the proposed transaction, NTI will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of WNR and NTI common units will cease to be publicly traded. Jeff Stevens, President and CEO of WNR said, “The merger of Western and NTI will result in the combined entity owning three of the most profitable independent refineries on a gross margin per barrel basis, with direct pipeline access to advantaged crude oil combined with an integrated retail and wholesale distribution network. The terms of the merger agreement were approved by the WNR Board of Directors and the Conflicts Committee of the Board of Directors of NTI’s general partner, which negotiated the terms on behalf of NTI. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, five have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock.

The call and slide presentation can be accessed on the Investor Relations section of Western’s website, www.wnr.com, and on the Investor Relations section of Northern Tier’s website at www.northerntier.com. The Company has refining, retail and logistics operations that serve the Petroleum Administration for Defense District II (PADD II) region of the United States. Goldman Sachs & Co. acted as financial advisor to Western, and Vinson & Elkins, Davis Polk & Wardwell and Richards Layton & Finger acted as legal counsel to Western. This press release includes “forward-looking statements” by Western (which are protected as forward-looking statements under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995) and by NTI.

The Company’s retail segment operated 165 convenience stores under the SuperAmerica brand and also supported 89 franchised convenience stores, which are also operated under the SuperAmerica brand. These statements are subject to the risk that the merger is not consummated at all, including due to the inability of Western or NTI to obtain all approvals necessary or the failure of other closing conditions, as well as to the general risks inherent in Western’s and NTI’s businesses and the merged company’s ability to compete in a highly competitive industry.

If you are reading this article on another website, that means this article was illegally copied and re-published to this website in violation of U.S. and International copyright law. In addition, Western’s and Northern Tier’s business and operations involve numerous risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond Western’s and NTI’s control, which could materially affect their respective financial condition, results of operations and cash flows and those of the merged company.

The forward-looking statements are only as of the date made, and neither Western nor NTI undertake any obligation to (and each expressly disclaims any obligation to) update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date such statements were made, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. This communication does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities or a solicitation of any vote or approval in any jurisdiction where such an offer or solicitation is unlawful. Any such offer will be made only by means of a prospectus meeting the requirements of Section 10 of the Securities Act of 1933, pursuant to a registration statement filed with the SEC. The retail segment includes retail service stations, convenience stores, and unmanned fleet fueling locations in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas. Beyersdorfer (602) 286-1530 Michelle Clemente (602) 286-1533 Northern Tier Investor and Analyst Contact: Paul Anderson (651) 458-6494 Alpha IR Group (651) 769-6700 nti@alpha-ir.com Media Contact: Gary Hanson (602) 286-1777

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