NEWS ROUNDUP

Wal-Mart Celebrates1,000 Supercenteres opened its 1,000th supercenter here last week with a celebration scheduled to run throughout the weekend. The supercenter opened in a former discount store location that was expanded to 184,000 square feet. With 1,000 stores, sales at Wal-Mart supercenters are estimated to exceed $57 billion. The Aug. 22 opening was marked by festivities that were scheduled to

Wal-Mart Celebrates1,000 Supercenter

es opened its 1,000th supercenter here last week with a celebration scheduled to run throughout the weekend. The supercenter opened in a former discount store location that was expanded to 184,000 square feet. With 1,000 stores, sales at Wal-Mart supercenters are estimated to exceed $57 billion. The Aug. 22 opening was marked by festivities that were scheduled to include appearances by four NASCAR race cars, the St. Louis Cardinals mascot, Keebler and Kellogg's characters, the Bud Pit Brew Crew Challenge and the Pepsi Challenge -- plus ticket giveaways for University of Missouri and University of Nebraska football games, a TGI Friday's food tent, Chester Cheetah face painting and in-store demonstrations.

FMI: SUPERMARKETS GAIN RX SHARE

WASHINGTON -- Supermarket pharmacies grew faster than any other segment of the retail pharmacy marketplace in 2000, according to a report issued Aug. 17 by the Food Marketing Institute here. The Report from the 2001 Supermarket Pharmacy Survey revealed that supermarket pharmacies tallied $16.9 billion in sales last year, an increase of 26% over 1999 sales. Grocers dispensed 389 million prescriptions last year, an increase of 8.7% over the number dispensed in 1999. Gross margins in supermarket pharmacies declined one percentage point last year, however, to 19% from 20% in the preceding year, according to the survey. With 8,800 outlets, supermarket pharmacies now account for 17% of the total number of retail prescription drug outlets in the country, the study reported. About 68% of all newly built supermarkets contain a pharmacy.

PUBLIX PLANS TWO MORE FUEL CENTERS

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Publix Super Markets here is opening Pix-brand gas stations in the Florida towns of Winter Haven and Kissimmee, in addition to the test unit scheduled to open here next month, sources said. The Winter Haven Pix, to be located at the Publix store at 1090 Spirit Lake Road, is scheduled to open in late October or early November. The Kissimmee Pix, at a Publix in the Ponciana area at 2915 Vineland Road, is still under development. The first Pix is scheduled to open next month at a Publix grocery store at 2125 E. County Road here. A Publix spokesman declined to comment.

SPARTAN ADDS COMMUNITY GIVING PROGRAMS

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Spartan Stores here on Aug. 20 added two new community and educational support plans at its stores. As part of the company's eScrip, customers enrolled in the plan designate between 1% to 2% of a grocery bill toward the nonprofit organizations of their choice. The second program, called Extra Credit for Education, allows shoppers to designate the school of their choice to earn credit toward the purchase of new school equipment. "The potential of this program to raise needed dollars for our communities and schools is exciting and we hope it will be a valuable tool in helping nonprofit organizations and schools fund their programs and purchase the equipment they need to achieve their goals," said James B. Meyer, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Spartan Stores.

A&P Sells Two Kohl's to Jewel-Osco

MONTVALE, N.J. -- A&P here said last week it has agreed to sell two Milwaukee-area stores to Jewel-Osco, Melrose Park, Ill., a division of Boise, Idaho-based Albertson's. The stores, which operate under the Kohl's Food Stores banner, are located in Mequon and Germantown, Wis., and are expected to change ownership in mid-September. An A&P spokeswoman told SN the sale was a result of the company's ongoing effort to analyze the performance of its entire store base. "We have no further store closings to report at this point," she added. With the sale of the two stores, A&P said it will operate 35 Kohl's stores in the area. The spokeswoman declined to comment on published reports A&P may be considering a pullout from the Milwaukee marketplace.