OUSTED LOBLAW PRESIDENT RECEIVING $19 MILLION
TORONTO — John Lederer, ousted as president of Loblaw Cos. here in September, walked away with more than $19 million (U.S.), a proxy statement filed by the retailer showed. The compensation included around $10.4 million in severance payments and stock options worth around $8.6 million, the filing said. Lederer served Loblaw for more than 30 years but resigned “by mutual consent” in September after a pattern of missteps surrounding a supply chain initiative.
NEW FOOD PROGRAM IN 2,000 FAMILY DOLLAR STORES
CHESAPEAKE, Va. — A tendency among lower-income shoppers to make frequent fill-in shopping trips is driving the success of expanded food offerings at Family Dollar Stores, Howard R. Levine, chief executive officer, said. According to Levine, Family Dollar in February began rolling out quick-prep and ready-to-eat offerings in addition to food items already available in coolers at its stores. The expanded food sections are currently in 2,000 locations, he said. “Our research indicates that our customers spend a significant percentage of their discretionary income on food purchases,” Levine said. “Because of cash flow and home storage capacity constraints, lower-end consumers are more likely to make more fill-in trips than higher-income consumers.” Levine made his remarks while reviewing financial results for the second quarter that ended March 3. Net income of $90.5 million for the 14-week quarter improved by 13% compared to the 13-week quarter a year ago, excluding special charges. Sales increased 12.2% and comparable-store sales increased by 0.4%.
KROGER FRESH FARE COMING TO CINCINNATI
CINCINNATI — Kroger is bringing its Fresh Fare format to its home city for the first time, published reports said last week. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, the area's first Kroger Fresh Fare location is planned for a 2008 opening in the Kenwood Towne Centre shopping center. Fresh Fare, operated under various banners in other Kroger operating areas, offers a larger selection of fresh and prepared foods than the conventional grocery store, with particular appeal to upscale shoppers.
UNION, KROGER AGREE TO EXTENSION IN HOUSTON
HOUSTON — Two locals of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union here and Kroger Co., Cincinnati, agreed to extend their expiring contract while continuing to negotiate for a new deal, the UFCW said. The contract, covering around 12,000 Kroger employees, was to have expired at midnight March 30. The extension will be in place until a new deal is reached or one party gives the other a seven-day notice to terminate the extension.
BUTCHERS, ALBERTSONS REACH DEAL IN NEW MEXICO
LAS CRUCES, N.M. — Union meat department workers at two area Albertsons stores here have reached agreement with their employers on a new three-year contract, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1564 here said last week. According to the union, the new deal offers employees the chance to take part in a 100% company-paid pension plan and offers a reduction in medical contributions and deductibles.
N.Y. BOTTLE BILL KILLED IN BUDGET LEGISLATION
ALBANY, N.Y. — Food retailers dodged a bullet here last week when an onerous “bottle bill” was killed from the state's budget legislation. The bill, included in the budget by Gov. Eliot Spitzer, proposed expanding the state's 5-cent deposit to several more bottle types and would have required that unclaimed deposits be sent to a state environmental fund. “We were very pleased it was not included as part of the budget,” said Mike Rosen, senior vice president at the New York Food Industry Alliance. “We view it as strictly a money grab.”