NEWSWATCH

SUPERMARKET STOCKS TAKE HIT NEW YORK Last week's stock-market implosion which included single-day declines in the Dow Jones Industrial Average of more than 500 points on Monday and more than 400 points on Wednesday dragged some supermarket stocks along with it, although analysts said most supermarkets probably would not be adversely affected by the bankruptcy of Lehman Bros. and the other financial

SUPERMARKET STOCKS TAKE HIT

NEW YORK — Last week's stock-market implosion — which included single-day declines in the Dow Jones Industrial Average of more than 500 points on Monday and more than 400 points on Wednesday — dragged some supermarket stocks along with it, although analysts said most supermarkets probably would not be adversely affected by the bankruptcy of Lehman Bros. and the other financial crises of the week. Montvale, N.J.-based A&P fell more than 30% in the first few days of last week, prompting the company to issue a statement that its liquidity was not impacted by the Lehman situation. (See Page 54 for a summary of stock activity.) “In the long run the supermarkets, as less risky assets, should be fine,” said Andrew Wolf, an anlayst with BB&T Capital Markets, Richmond, Va.

IGA IN DEAL TO EXPAND INTO RUSSIA

CHICAGO — IGA will expand into Russia later this year, the company here said last week. The retailer said it has made an agreement with Megapolis Trading Co., an established consumer goods distributor in Russia, which will have the right to license independent Russian retailers under the IGA banner and have exclusive distribution rights to those retailers. Megapolis is a division of the Mercury Group, a Moscow-based holding company.

HARRIS TEETER SAID TO EYE CHARLESTON

MATTHEWS, N.C. — Harris Teeter is planning to open six new locations around the Charleston, S.C., market, a published report said last week. The expansion, reported by the Post and Courier newspaper, would more than double Harris Teeter's store count in the Charleston area, where it currently operates four stores. The proposed stores are in various stages of completion. A company spokeswoman confirmed Harris Teeter was building two stores in the area, with one scheduled to open next fall. The report cited official documents and real estate sources for other proposed locations.

CLEVELAND UNION EXTENDS CONTRACT

CLEVELAND — Grocery workers represented by United Food and Commercial Workers Local 880 here signed an agreement to extend a contract that was to have expired last week as negotiations for a new deal with employers continued. The contract covers more than 14,000 workers at Giant Eagle, Heinen's, Acme, Fishers Foods and Stop-n-Shop stores, the union said. The extension provides for retroactive wage increases to Sept. 14, when the old deal expired, and will continue until a new deal is reached or either side provides a seven-day notice of termination.

BROKAW, LENO TO SPEAK AT 2009 NGA

ARLINGTON, Va. — Tom Brokaw, former anchorman for NBC News, will be the keynote speaker at the 2009 annual convention and supermarket synergy showcase of the National Grocers Association, scheduled for Feb. 3-6 at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel. Brokaw's address to the opening session — whose theme will be “Political, Economic and Leadership Changes in America” — will be followed by a discussion between Brokaw and Tom Zaucha, NGA president and chief executive officer, about the post-election outlook. NGA said Jay Leno will be the featured entertainer at the closing night's dinner. The overall theme for the convention will be “Changing Times: A Blueprint for Success.”