FMI RESCHEDULES FUTURECONNECT
ARLINGTON, Va. — Food Marketing Institute here said last week that it has rescheduled its inaugural FutureConnect leadership development conference for Oct. 12-14 at the Hyatt Regency in Dallas. The event had been scheduled for this month but was postponed because of concerns about the influenza H1N1 outbreak. Marketechnics, the technology conference that was scheduled to follow FutureConnect in Dallas, will not take place in 2009, and will co-locate next year with the traditional FMI Show in Las Vegas on May 10-13. FMI said attendee registrations for FutureConnect remain valid for the October event and are transferable to other individuals within companies. Registrations for Marketechnics can be credited toward attendance at FMI 2010 or any other FMI event through May 31, 2010.
UNIFIED REPORTS Q2 SALES DECLINE
LOS ANGELES — Unified Grocers here said earnings increased and sales fell for the second quarter, which ended March 28. Net earnings for the quarter rose 94.8% to $2.5 million, while sales fell 4.1% to $951.7 million. For the first half, net income dropped 15% to $6.3 million, while sales declined 2.3% to $2 billion. The company said it attributed the sales decline to the post-bankruptcy transition of The Markets (formerly Brown & Cole), Bellingham, Wash., to Supervalu; to the shift of Easter to the third quarter this year; and to the softer economy. Those declines were somewhat offset, Unified said, by continued growth in the company's specialty division, whose sales rose more than $10 million.
PIGGLY WIGGLY TO BUILD NEW DC
SHEBOYGAN, Wis. — Piggly Wiggly Midwest said it would build a 40,000-square-foot expansion to its warehouse here. An area to the south of the existing warehouse will be utilized for the new building plus parking for 50 tractor-trailers. The $2 million renovation also includes remodeling 10,000 square feet within the existing warehouse for new offices, the company said. Piggly Wiggly operates distribution centers in Sheboygan and Milwaukee, serving 96 Piggly Wiggly and 10 Butera Market stores in Wisconsin and Illinois.
SOME HANNAFORD SUITS DISMISSED
PORTLAND, Maine — A U.S. District Court judge here last week dismissed all but one of the civil charges in a class-action lawsuit against Hannaford Bros. related to last year's credit-card data breach. However, a portion of the suit seeking damages against Sweetbay Supermarkets was passed on to be heard in a court in Florida. Both Hannaford and Sweetbay are divisions of Belgium-based Delhaize Group. Hannaford manages technology for Sweetbay. According to the decision, only those customers who weren't reimbursed for fraudulent charges may sue Hannaford. In the ruling, Judge D. Brock Hornby noted he was adhering to existing state laws in Maine.
HENRY'S EXPANDING IN LOS ANGELES
SAN DIEGO — Henry's Farmers Market here, a division of Los Angeles-based Smart & Final, is moving gradually into the Los Angeles marketplace, with a third location scheduled to open in June and up to 12 more Los Angeles-area locations scheduled to open by the end of 2010, according to local sources. The company opened its second area store — in Woodland Hills in the San Fernando Valley — this month, giving it 29 stores in Southern California, and it has at least two more L.A.-area stores due to open this year: one in Monrovia next month and another in Burbank by year's end.