NEWSWATCH: GIANT/STOP & SHOP INTRODUCE EDLP IN PRODUCE...PENN TRAFFIC ACCOUNTANT RESIGNS...WINN-DIXIE ANTICIPATES $350 MILLION ANNUAL LOSS

Giant/Stop & Shop Introduce EDLP in Produceand Giant-Landover here last week introduced an everyday-low-price program in produce, according to ad circulars that broke on Friday. The ads touted new lower everyday prices on approximately 28 items including iceberg lettuce, peeled baby carrots, bananas, strawberries and oranges. "We have also raised the bar for fresh, high-quality fruits and vegetables

Giant/Stop & Shop Introduce EDLP in Produce

and Giant-Landover here last week introduced an everyday-low-price program in produce, according to ad circulars that broke on Friday. The ads touted new lower everyday prices on approximately 28 items including iceberg lettuce, peeled baby carrots, bananas, strawberries and oranges. "We have also raised the bar for fresh, high-quality fruits and vegetables so you can expect higher-quality produce," according to a message on the sales circular. The produce EDLP program is part of the "value-improvement program" touted by Ahold officials last month.

Penn Traffic Accountant Resigns

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Deloitte & Touche resigned as public accounting firm to Penn Traffic Co., saying it was "unwilling to rely on representations from the company's internal general counsel," according to a government filing by the retailer here last week. Deloitte had previously advised Penn Traffic that it would need to significantly expand the scope of an investigation into the retailer's accounting practices, but resigned before it could do so. Penn Traffic had previously disclosed that an investigation into its accounting practices was delaying the filing of financial reports.

Winn-Dixie Anticipates $350 Million Annual Loss

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Winn-Dixie Stores last week said its annual report should reveal a loss of $350 million for fiscal 2006, but that the report wouldn't be delivered until later this month as the retailer reconciles tax benefits and other matters related to its Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Winn-Dixie lost $833 million in fiscal 2005.

Proxy Service Recommends Marsh-Sun Deal

INDIANAPOLIS - Shareholders of Marsh Supermarkets in a special meeting Friday will vote on whether to approve a buyout by an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners, Boca Raton, Fla. In an analysis of the proposed deal published last week, Institutional Shareholder Services, Rockville, Md., recommended shareholders approve the deal, which has come under fire from some shareholders feeling the $88 million price tag undervalued Marsh's real estate holdings. "While it is difficult to assert that Sun's bid was the highest value that can be obtained, we believe it was the outcome of a relatively robust sale process," the ISS report said.

Chicago 'Big-Box' Ordinance Veto Sustained

CHICAGO - City Council last week sustained Mayor Richard Daley's veto of an ordinance that would have required big-box retailers to provide wages and benefits of at least $13 a hour by 2010. "I believe it would drive jobs from our city, penalizing neighborhoods that need additional economic activity the most," Daley said in a statement. Target, Minneapolis, and Wal-Mart Stores, Bentonville, Ark., had said their plans to expand and/or keep existing stores open in Chicago were hindered when the ordinance passed in July. Though the council narrowly sustained the veto last week, some proponents of the measure reportedly intend to introduce similar legislation next month.

Andronico's Location Sold, Reopening as Lunardi's

ALBANY, Calif. - Andronico's Markets here last week said it has sold its Danville, Calif., location to Lunardi's, the upscale supermarket operator based in South San Francisco. The store was scheduled to close last Saturday, with a reopening under the new banner expected this week. Bill Andronico, president and chief executive officer, told SN his company will use the proceeds from the sale as part of a five-year, $15 million capital spending plan designed "to elevate the performance" of its nine remaining stores. There are no plans to put any of those stores up for sale, he added.