Newswatch

Ahold's U.S. banners posted $5.2 billion in sales for the second quarter, which ended July 12, with gains at Stop & Shop and Giant-Landover but slowing sales at Giant-Carlisle, the retailer said in a trading statement last week. Lower gasoline prices significantly affected sales at Giant-Carlisle, which decreased by 0.4% to $1.1 billion in the quarter,

STOP & SHOP PACES AHOLD SALES GAINS

AMSTERDAM — Ahold's U.S. banners posted $5.2 billion in sales for the second quarter, which ended July 12, with gains at Stop & Shop and Giant-Landover but slowing sales at Giant-Carlisle, the retailer said in a trading statement last week. Lower gasoline prices significantly affected sales at Giant-Carlisle, which decreased by 0.4% to $1.1 billion in the quarter, while identical-store sales excluding gasoline increased by 2%, as the chain invested aggressively in price and promotions. Net sales at Stop & Shop and Giant-Landover improved 2.8% to $4.1 billion, with identical-store sales excluding gasoline of 3.4% at Stop & Shop and 3.5% at Giant-Landover. Ahold's overall quarterly sales increased to about $9.2 billion, an increase of 3.9% at constant exchange rates.

DOLLAR GENERAL PLANS IPO: REPORT

GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. — Dollar General here, which private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts bought in 2007, is preparing to go back into the hands of the public, reports said last week. The Wall Street Journal reported the chain had engaged various banking and financial firms to plan an initial public offering. The chain has executed a turnaround since 2007, showing strong gains in sales and earnings.

FOOD SAFETY LEGISLATION FAILS TO PASS

WASHINGTON — The Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009 failed to pass in a House of Representatives vote last week. The bill — which would have expanded the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's powers over the national food supply, granting the agency more authority over how crops are raised and harvested, as well as the authority to issue mandatory recalls, quarantine geographic areas and establish a national food traceability program — did not achieve the required margin of two-thirds of total votes in the House. In a prepared statement, Leslie G. Sarasin, president and chief executive officer, Food Marketing Institute, said, “We are disappointed the legislation did not pass as a result of the House rules process in place for this particular vote. We would urge the House of Representatives to consider the bill under regular order, which requires a simple majority.”

UNION DENOUNCES WAL-MART SUIT

TORONTO — United Food and Commercial Workers Canada here last week denounced a lawsuit filed by Wal-Mart against a website that uses the retailer's name. Walmartworkerscanada.ca [3] bills itself as “the union for Wal-Mart workers in Canada” and according to the union is “dedicated to helping Wal-Mart associates understand and exercise their rights as workers in Canada.” Wal-Mart is seeking an injunction that would prevent the group from using the name Wal-Mart as well as the colors and expressions associated with the retailer.

FAIRWAY GETS OK FOR QUEENS STORE

NEW YORK — City officials gave approval for planned renovations of a shopping center that would pave the way for Fairway Market to open its first location in the borough of Queens. Fairway would occupy a location in the Douglaston Plaza shopping center currently occupied by a Waldbaums store. Waldbaums has a lease at the center that expires next April, according to published reports. Fairway, based here, has been on a brisk expansion pace in recent months, including a recent opening in New Jersey and stores planned for Connecticut and Westchester County, N.Y.