NEWS WATCH

Fleming Cos., Oklahoma City, said last week it completed the first year of its re-engineering implementation with net sales of $17.5 billion, compared with $15.7 billion in 1994, or an 11% increase. Net earnings were $42 million for the full year in 1995, compared with $56.2 million in 1994. The effect of the Scrivner acquisition on sales and earnings was included for the last two quarters of 1994,

Fleming Cos., Oklahoma City, said last week it completed the first year of its re-engineering implementation with net sales of $17.5 billion, compared with $15.7 billion in 1994, or an 11% increase. Net earnings were $42 million for the full year in 1995, compared with $56.2 million in 1994. The effect of the Scrivner acquisition on sales and earnings was included for the last two quarters of 1994, while 1995 numbers reflect the full-year effect. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert Stauth said, "While we are disappointed with sales and earnings in 1995, we are pleased with the progress we've made. More than 40% of our customer base has been re-engineered in just 12 months . . . We intend to shift our focus in 1996 to use the benefits of our Flexible Marketing Plan to improve our financial performance."

nds, and two other European food retailers, U.K.-based Argyll and French-based Casino, have sold all shares involved in their cross-shareholding arrangement. The three companies, -- all participants in the European Retail Alliance of leading European food retailers -- decided

that the cross-shareholdings established in 1989 were no longer necessary due to benefits gained under the ERA and AMS, a marketing alliance of top European food retailers, an Ahold report said. Ahold's proceeds from the sale will be used to finance its future growth, Cees van der Hoeven, Ahold president, said in the report.

Richfood Holdings, Richmond, Va., has introduced its private-label products at Super Rite Corp., a Harrisburg, Pa.-based voluntary wholesaler it acquired last year. Richfood presented about 900 of its 1,400 total private-label items at Super Rite's 1996 Spring/Summer Food Expo in York, Pa. Bob Sands, vice president of controlled brands, is responsible for implementing Richfood's private-label rollout. Richfood's private-label items, comprising about 20% of its sales mix, include dry grocery, frozen food, dairy, cheese and meat products under such brands as Richfood, Econ, IGA and Frosty Acres.

Stater Bros. Markets, Colton, Calif., last week opened a new-format supermarket in Rialto, Calif., that emphasizes fresh departments and takeout foods. The 36,195-square-foot store, its third Rialto location, replaces a 26,000-square-foot unit that was closed. It features an Oven Fresh bakery offering freshly baked pastries, breads, cookies and custom cakes; a hot-service deli with a variety of meats, cheeses, fresh salads, sandwiches to go, party trays and hot meals like roasted chicken; a full-service meat department, and an expanded Garden Fresh produce area.

Dominick's Finer Foods, Northlake, Ill., will continue to expand its store base via its Fresh Store format, company officials said at the Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Food Retailing Conference in New York this month. Seven new Fresh Stores, which average 51,000 square feet, are planned this year, and about 15 existing stores are slated to be converted to that format. "Over the last 10 years, we have gradually converted to a combination-store operator. We expect that to go forward," said Robert Mariano, president and chief operating officer, noting that converted stores typically see a 30% rise in sales. Darren Karst, senior vice president and chief financial officer, said, "We continue to see increased profitability from the Fresh Stores."