NEWS WATCH: MARSH OPENS 'NEW LIFESTYLE' STORE IN FORT WAYNE...SAFEWAY DIRECTORS TO FACE ANNUAL ELECTIONS...STOCKHOLDER GROUP SEEKS AHOLD RESTATEMENT

MARSH OPENS 'NEW LIFESTYLE' STORE IN FORT WAYNErned to this city last week after a 30-year absence with the grand opening of its second "new lifestyle" prototype store. The 66,000-square-foot supermarket features a racetrack format with distinct, boutique-style rooms for various departments around the perimeter. The store has a focus on fresh foods, as well as gourmet and international products. Among

MARSH OPENS 'NEW LIFESTYLE' STORE IN FORT WAYNE

rned to this city last week after a 30-year absence with the grand opening of its second "new lifestyle" prototype store. The 66,000-square-foot supermarket features a racetrack format with distinct, boutique-style rooms for various departments around the perimeter. The store has a focus on fresh foods, as well as gourmet and international products. Among the new features are a sushi bar and a Good to Go prepared-meals section. In an interview with SN, Don Marsh, chairman and chief executive officer of the Indianapolis-based chain, said the company would break ground this year on its first Chicago location, which will feature the new concept. "This will rival anything in the country," Marsh said of the format.

SAFEWAY DIRECTORS TO FACE ANNUAL ELECTIONS

PLEASANTON, Calif. -- Safeway here said last week its board of directors has voted unanimously to declassify itself, which means each director must now annually stand for election or reelection. Safeway said the proposed change to the board's structure will be put to a vote at the 2004 annual meeting and, if approved, go into effect beginning in 2005. A proposal to declassify the board received a non-binding majority at Safeway's 2003 annual meeting, the company noted.

STOCKHOLDER GROUP SEEKS AHOLD RESTATEMENT

ZAANDAM, Netherlands -- Ahold here said last week it has been served by the VEB (Association of Dutch Stockholders) with a summons to appear before the Enterprise Chamber of the Amsterdam Court of Appeals in connection with a claim by the VEB that the company's reported results for fiscal years 1998 to 2002 be nullified and Ahold be ordered to restate its results for those periods. Ahold said it deems this claim to be unfounded and intends to vigorously oppose it.

AL PLAMANN NAMED TO CGA HALL OF ACHIEVEMENT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Al Plamann, president and chief executive officer, Unified Western Grocers, Los Angeles, will be inducted into the California Grocers Association Food Industry Hall of Achievement at a dinner scheduled for Feb. 26 in Costa Mesa, Calif. The Food Industry Hall of Achievement, which was founded in 1992, recognizes industry leaders who have made significant contributions to the California grocery industry.

EIGHT O'CLOCK COFFEE TO BE STAND-ALONE COMPANY

SAN FRANCISCO -- Gryphon Investors here said last week it completed the previously announced acquisition of Eight O'Clock Coffee Co. from A&P, Montvale, N.J., for $107.5 million. Gryphon said it would operate Eight O'Clock, which is one of the country's largest coffee brands, as a stand-alone company with headquarters in Montvale and a roasting facility in Landover, Md.