News Watch

PCC NATURAL MARKETS TO DISCONTINUE PLASTIC BAGS Saying it's simply the right thing to do, PCC Natural Markets will discontinue using plastic bags Oct. 1. While this decision to eliminate plastic shopping bags will entail some additional cost, it's simply the right thing to do, Tracy Wolpert, chief executive officer of the eight-store organic cooperative, said in a statement. We have studied

PCC NATURAL MARKETS TO DISCONTINUE PLASTIC BAGS

SEATTLE — Saying “it's simply the right thing to do,” PCC Natural Markets will discontinue using plastic bags Oct. 1. “While this decision to eliminate plastic shopping bags will entail some additional cost, it's simply the right thing to do,” Tracy Wolpert, chief executive officer of the eight-store organic cooperative, said in a statement. “We have studied the environmental impact of paper vs. plastic and believe that paper is the more sustainable choice, while bag reuse is the best choice of all.” PCC said it would encourage customers to reuse their own bags by offering its selection of reusable totes at cost, while continuing to provide paper bags at no charge.

JUDGE DISMISSES ROEHM'S SUIT AGAINST WAL-MART

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — A judge in Michigan last week dismissed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart Stores brought by Julie Roehm, the dismissed marketing executive for the retailer here, saying the case should have been filed in Arkansas. Roehm, who was fired amid allegations of improprieties, sued Wal-Mart in January, seeking $1.5 million in severance costs and charging that other company executives had ethics breaches. Reports last week indicated Roehm had not yet decided whether to continue the suit in a new court.

LOSS OF CONTRACT LEADS TO PENN TRAFFIC LAYOFFS

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Penny Curtiss Baking Co. is laying off 26 seasonal call-ins and 28 full-time employees by Sept. 8 as it winds down its contract to supply fresh bakery goods to Aldi grocery stores, the company said in a statement. Penny Curtiss is the commercial bakery division of Penn Traffic, also based here. Penn Traffic's supermarkets and independent stores are Penny Curtiss' largest customers for fresh and frozen bakery products. “We're working closely with the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union Local 116 to make the transition as smooth as possible for these employees, who will receive severance and benefits as required by our collective bargaining agreement,” Dave Adamsen, vice president of wholesale and manufacturing, Penn Traffic, said in a statement.

TWO KILLED AS RAINS COLLAPSE ROOF OF RANDALLS

HOUSTON — Heavy rains in the wake of Tropical Storm Erin contributed to the collapse of a roof of a Randalls store here, killing a store worker and a beverage deliveryman, reports said. Emergency officials said the roof over the loading dock area of Randalls' Clear Lake store gave way as Houston experienced heavy rains. Randalls is a division of Safeway, Pleasanton, Calif.

CHICAGO NEW CHAPTER REVIVED; CINCINNATI NEXT

CHICAGO — Network of Executive Women is relaunching a local chapter in the greater Chicago area. The Chicago region will hold its first event on Sept. 11 at the Lyric Opera Building here with guest speaker Kim Feil, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Sara Lee Food & Beverage. NEW is a national organization whose mission is to attract, retain and advance women in the consumer products and retail industries through education, leadership and business development. It was formed in 2001 and today comprises 2,800 members. The relaunch of the Chicago chapter brings the total number of regional NEW groups to 11. A 12th will be added in Cincinnati on Oct. 2.

BI-LO, CLEMSON ATHLETICS INK MARKETING AGREEMENT

MAULDIN, S.C. — Bi-Lo Holdings here and Clemson University signed an exclusive three-year partnership making Bi-Lo the official supermarket of Clemson athletics, the retailer said. The deal allows Bi-Lo to bring exclusive promotions and events, including hosting weekly radio shows for football coach Tommy Bowden and basketball coach Oliver Purnell at area Bi-Lo stores.