Panera Bread Unveils Panera 2.0 and Family Dollar Stores to Close 370 Underperforming Stores

Family Dollar Stores Inc. (NYSE: FDO) is going to slash prices on 1,000 basic items and close about 370 underperforming stores in response to falling sales and business disruptions caused by bad winter weather. "Our second quarter results did not meet our expectations," said CEO Howard R. Levine, in a statement. "The 2013 holiday season was challenged by a more promotional competitive environment and a more financially constrained consumer." The retail chain has about 8,100 stores in 46 states.

Family Dollar Stores, Inc. operates a chain of self-service retail discount stores primarily for low- and middle-income consumers in the United States. Its merchandise assortment includes consumables, such as household chemicals, paper products, food products, health and beauty aids, hardware and automotive supplies, pet food and supplies, and tobacco; and home products comprising blankets, sheets, towels, housewares, giftware, and home décor products.

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Panera Bread Company (NASDAQ: PNRA) has unveiled Panera 2.0. Panera 2.0 is a series of integrated technologies to enhance the guest experience for all consumers no matter how they choose to use Panera. Panera 2.0 brings together new capabilities for digital ordering, payment, operations and, ultimately, consumption to create an enhanced guest experience for "to go" and "eat in" customers. "Panera 2.0 is an investment in the customer enabled by technology and powered by operational excellence," commented Ron Shaich, founder, Chairman, and CEO. "It's more than a mobile-payment system or simply a digital-ordering process. It's an integrated, comprehensive, end-to-end solution that we believe will reduce friction such as wait times, improve order accuracy, and minimize or eliminate crowding -- all while creating a platform for an ever more personalized experience.

Panera Bread Company, together with its subsidiaries, owns, operates, and franchises retail bakery-cafes in the United States and Canada. The company operates in three segments: Bakery-Cafe Operations, Franchise Operations, and Fresh Dough and Other Product Operations. The Bakery-Cafe Operations segment operates company-owned bakery-cafes under the Panera Bread, Saint Louis Bread Co., or Paradise Bakery & Café names that offer fresh baked goods, made-to-order sandwiches, soups, salads, pasta dishes, custom roasted coffees, and other complementary products through on premise sales, as well as provide catering services.

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