Newswatch

The 25 Ukrop's stores in greater Richmond, Va., recently acquired by Giant-Carlisle will be switching suppliers, the company said last week. Giant said it has engaged C&S Wholesale Grocers, Keene, N.H., as the primary supplier for the stores and will phase out its current supplier, Minneapolis-based Supervalu. That company said that the loss of business

C&S TO SUPPLY UKROP'S/MARTIN'S

CARLISLE, Pa. — The 25 Ukrop's stores in greater Richmond, Va., recently acquired by Giant-Carlisle will be switching suppliers, the company said last week. Giant said it has engaged C&S Wholesale Grocers, Keene, N.H., as the primary supplier for the stores and will phase out its current supplier, Minneapolis-based Supervalu. That company said that the loss of business would cost 80 jobs at its distribution center in Mechanicsville, Va. Giant is converting the Ukrop's stores to its Martin's banner.

PUBLIX POSTS Q4 EARNINGS GAIN

LAKELAND, Fla. — Publix Super Markets saw net earnings increase by 14.1% in the fourth quarter despite a comparable-store sales decline of 2.5%, the company reported last week. Total sales rose 1% to $6.1 billion, and net income totaled $284.2 million. The quarter and fiscal year ended Dec. 26. In an annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Publix said net earnings for the full year increased to $1.2 billion on a 1.6% sales increase, to $24.3 billion. Comparable-store sales fell by 3.2% during the year. Publix said deflation, the economic downturn and cannibalization from new stores contributed to the decline.

VILLAGE COMPS, NET INCOME DOWN

SPRINGFIELD, N.J. — Village Super Market here last week said same-store sales were down 1.7% in the second quarter, reflecting smaller transaction sizes due to deflation and ongoing economic pressures on consumers. The company, which operates 26 ShopRites in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, said net income for the quarter, which ended Jan. 23, was down 15%, to $6.74 million, on a 0.8% increase in sales, to $315.3 million, due to the opening of one new store last May. Net income was $11.3 million in the six-month period, a decrease of 21% from the prior year, while sales rose 2.4%, to $618.1 million. Same-store sales decreased 0.6% year-to-date.

WHOLE FOODS TO SELL 2 WILD OATS

WASHINGTON — Whole Foods Market has found buyers for two of the former Wild Oats stores it must divest by order of the Federal Trade Commission, according to a filing by the FTC here. The two stores — one in Kansas City, Mo., and the other in Boulder, Colo. — are the first sales agreements to be announced among the 32 stores that the FTC last year said must be divested to satisfy antitrust regulations following the 2007 merger of Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods and Boulder-based Wild Oats. According to the filing, a former Wild Oats store in Kansas City will be sold to Healthy Investments, and a former Wild Oats store in Boulder will be sold to A-M Holdings. Terms of the sales were not disclosed.

WAL-MART TO HIRE MORE WOMEN

INDIANAPOLIS — Wal-Mart Stores will pay $11.7 million in back wages and damages, and has agreed to provide relief including jobs, as part of the settlement of a lawsuit with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the agency announced here last week. The suit alleged that Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart denied jobs to female applicants at its Loudon, Ky., warehouse between 1998 and 2005, while regularly giving jobs to less qualified males, the agency said. Wal-Mart agreed to staff its next 50 order-filler jobs with women from a class as determined by a claims administrator. Wal-Mart also agreed to offer women every second job for the following 50 jobs. After that, every third position will be offered to a woman, the settlement said.