AMSTERDAM — Ahold here said Friday it has changed the advertising approach in its Stop & Shop/Giant-Landover segment to compare-and-save rather than simply contrasting new, lowered prices with older, higher ones. The move is a response to "the turbulent economic environment and its impact on consumer and competitor behavior," John Rishton, chief executive officer, said, noting that a simple statement of lower prices is not always feasible in an inflationary environment. “If the price goes from $10 to $11, and our competitor's price goes up to $11.79 or $12, we are comparing the $11 to $11.79 or $12." Operating income in the U.S. fell 5.5% to $274 million during the first quarter that ended March 31, with earnings at Giant-Carlisle up 16.1% to $72 million and earnings in the Stop & Shop/Giant-Landover segment dropping 11.4% to $202 million. U.S. sales rose 2.9% to $6.6 billion during the quarter, with sales at Giant-Carlisle up 9.2% to $1.4 billion and sales at Stop & Shop/Giant-Landover up 1.3% to $5.2 billion. Comparable-store sales rose 6.7% at Giant-Carlisle and 1.6% at Stop & Shop and fell 1.2% at Giant-Landover.
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