NEWS WATCH

Kroger Reopening Nine Harris Teetersportedly plans to reopen under the Kroger banner nine of the 15 Harris Teeter stores it acquired in the Atlanta area, including a store that is still under construction, industry sources told SN last week. However, it will not reopen six others, the sources said. Kroger officials declined comment on the reports last week. The stores that will not reopen were said

Kroger Reopening Nine Harris Teeters

portedly plans to reopen under the Kroger banner nine of the 15 Harris Teeter stores it acquired in the Atlanta area, including a store that is still under construction, industry sources told SN last week. However, it will not reopen six others, the sources said. Kroger officials declined comment on the reports last week. The stores that will not reopen were said to be near existing Kroger stores, including locations in Atlanta, Dunwoody, Shady Springs and Marietta, Ga.; Kroger is reportedly evaluating those sites, observers said.

Ahold Subsidiary to Close Warehouse

NORTH HAVEN, Conn. -- American Sales Co., a subsidiary of Ahold USA, Chantilly, Va., said last week it will be closing its distribution center here in 60 days, resulting in the elimination of 185 positions. The facility, which supplies Ahold's Stop & Shop division based in Quincy, Mass., has become unnecessary because a distribution center in Buffalo, N.Y., was enlarged, according to Douglas Diehl, vice president of human resources at American Sales. Diehl also expressed optimism that warehouse employees will be placed in comparable positions by the time of the facility's closure.

"Stop & Shop will be our primary target in finding positions for these employees, but we have also begun an exhaustive outplacement effort beyond Stop & Shop, and we are confident we can find positions for these employees," Diehl told SN.

Wal-Mart Settles Discrimination Suit

BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores here said last week it has agreed to pay $55,000 to a former Chicago-area employee and to provide anti-discrimination training in the Chicago area to settle an age-discrimination lawsuit filed two years ago by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The suit was filed on behalf of a former customer services manager at a Wal-Mart in Hodgkins, Ill., who claimed she was passed over for promotion in 1997 because of her age, demoted and subsequently refused reinstatement to her original position because of her complaints.

Commenting on the settlement, a Wal-Mart spokesman said, "We can always improve, but we feel that our day-to-day performance in thousands of stores across the country demonstrates a generally excellent track record."