An aggressive, co-ordinated plan focused on innovation, competitiveness and learning will create good jobs and a strong economy, Premier Darrell Dexter announced today, Nov. 23. “jobsHere positions Nova Scotia to compete and succeed in the global marketplace,” said Premier Dexter. “It will help companies be more innovative. It will prepare workers of today and tomorrow to land high-paying jobs, in leading-edge companies so they can stay here and build a life. It will ensure Nova Scotia’s traditional sectors play a significant role in the economic future of this province.” jobsHere, focuses on three key priorities: growing the economy through innovation; helping businesses compete; and learning the right skills for good jobs. Each priority is supported by several new and existing programs and initiatives. “We need to make sure our businesses are innovative and competitive and our people have the skills and learning for good jobs,” said Economic and Rural Development Minister Percy Paris. “This is a plan for all areas of the province and for all sectors of the economy. Everyone has a part to play.” Over the past 20 years, Nova Scotia’s economic growth has been lower than in any other province in Canada. As the economy went global, competition intensified, technoloy took off, and Nova Scotia was not able to keep up. “Today, Nova Scotia companies face competition from around the world,” said Ray Ivany, president of Acadia University “Our future prosperity depends on how innovative and productive we can be and how well we compete. To do this, we must create a culture where research and development is encouraged and rewarded.” A new workforce strategy that will help workers build new skills, adapt to new technologies, maximize their career opportunities, and learn about their employment options will be part of jobsHere. The province will also change the Manufacturing and Processing Investment Credit into the new Productivity Investment Program to help encourage investment in training, because human capital is as critical to a growing future as equipment and processes. “Our people are our greatest asset and we need to continue to develop our workforce and create good jobs here in Nova Scotia for educated and skilled workers,” said Rick Clarke, president of the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour. “I’m happy to see jobsHere focus on high-value jobs, and the training that is needed for our province’s workforce to attain these jobs.” The province recently announced its intention to explore forming a privately operated venture capital fund, targeting opportunities throughout Atlantic Canada that will encourage innovation for businesses. In addition, it will launch a new innovation and productivity partnership to ensure activities and investments are co-ordinated and focused on a common goal. “This plan focuses on adding value to our products in order to compete in the global marketplace,” said Ann Janega, vice-president Nova Scotia division of Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters. “It creates a pathway for local businesses to capitalize on Nova Scotia’s assets, such as location and skilled workforce, and break into foreign markets with products that will be of value to the consumers.” As part of jobsHere, a new international commerce strategy will be developed to help Nova Scotia companies build international capacity and strengthen the province’s access to international markets and networks. Government will also establish an international growth fund to help Nova Scotia companies adapt, compete and succeed internationally. jobsHere challenges governments, businesses, educational institutions, unions and associations, non-for-profit organizations, communities and industries to work together toward a single vision for economic growth in the province. jobsHere is a product of consultations with numerous stakeholders, including local businesses, industry associations, economic council and Donald Savoie, who wrote a report about improving economic development in Nova Scotia. “I encourage all Nova Scotians to take the time to read jobsHere,” said Premier Dexter. “It provides the actions, details and commitment of this government to make sure that Nova Scotians have good jobs so they can be successful right here at home. Nova Scotia now has a blueprint that allows business and government to be in control of our economic future.” For more information visit www.gov.ns.ca/jobshere .
Kroger adding Harris Teeter to supermarket network; expands reach by Candice Choi And Bree Fowler, The Associated Press Posted Jul 9, 2013 7:43 am MDT NEW YORK, N.Y. – Kroger, already the country’s largest traditional supermarket operator, is expanding its reach in key southeastern and mid-Atlantic states by snapping up regional grocer Harris Teeter Supermarkets Inc.The $2.44 billion cash deal reflects Kroger’s growth plans at a time when supermarkets are fighting competition from big-box retailers such as Target Corp. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., as well as drugstores and dollar stores that are expanding their food sections.Harris Teeter has 212 stores in eight states. That includes locations in Delaware, Florida, Maryland and Washington, D.C., where Kroger currently does not have a presence.Kroger says it doesn’t plan to close any stores as a result of the acquisition. But in the regions where there is some overlap, it may be asked by the Federal Trade Commission to sell stores to other operators to maintain a competitive landscape, said Mike Schlotman, Kroger’s chief financial officer. After Kroger’s last major purchase of Fred Meyer in 1999, he said the agency asked it to sell eight stores.Harris Teeter stores will keep their names and personalities, as with the nearly two dozen other regional chains owned by Kroger, including Ralphs in Southern California, Fred Meyer in the Pacific Northwest and Fry’s in Phoenix, the company said.“I don’t see a lot of change that we would make to Harris Teeter,” Schlotman said. “It already has a large fresh and prepared section — that’s one of the things they’re good at.”That focus on fresh and prepared foods is what makes the deal so attractive to Kroger. While they’re not on the level of Whole Foods supermarkets, Harris Teeter stores tend to be in more affluent neighbourhoods and are more profitable because they have bigger fresh food sections.Kroger, meanwhile, has been expanding the ranks of its “Fresh Fare” stores, which have bigger sections for produce, meat, seafood and prepared foods. These categories tend to have higher profit margins than the rest of the store, Schlotman said.Notably, Harris Teeter also offers a “click and collect” service in about half its stores that lets people shop online then pick up their groceries curbside or at the front of the store.“It’s very popular in Europe, and now we get the chance to understand the process with someone that has it in place,” Schlotman said.Harris Teeter, along with Ralphs, will be one of Kroger’s largest chains by store count.Under the terms of the agreement, Kroger will pay $49.38 for each of Harris Teeter’s shares. The price represents a 2 per cent increase over the company’s Monday closing stock price. The deal has been approved by both companies’ boards, but remains subject to Harris Teeter shareholder approval.Kroger, based in Cincinnati, operates 2,419 stores in 31 states. Its namesake stores account for more than half its stores.Of Harris Teeter’s 212 stores, 138 are in North Carolina, with 55 of those in the Charlotte area. Another 55 stores are in the Washington D.C., area. Its fiscal 2012 revenue totalled about $4.5 billion.Schlotman said the deal marks Kroger’s entry into several attractive, high-growth markets such as Charlotte, N.C., and Washington D.C. But he declined to say whether the company planned to eventually expand to all 50 states.“We don’t have a map of the U.S. with pins saying, ‘We’re going to here and we’ll never go there,’ ” he said.After the deal closes, Harris Teeter will become a Kroger subsidiary and will continue to be led by members of its current senior management. The division will remain based in Matthews, N.C.Kroger Co. says it expects the deal to result in cost savings of $40 million to $50 million over the next three to four years. It will finance the deal with debt and plans to assume Harris Teeter’s outstanding debt of about $100 million.In morning trading, Harris Teeter shares rose 47 cents to $48.99, while Kroger shares rose $1.10, or 3 per cent, to $37.29. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email
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