A&P Said to Buy 6 Clemens Markets Locations
xpected to announce the acquisition of six former Clemens Markets stores in the Philadelphia region, sources told SN. The stores were among eight turned over to A&P's supplier, C&S Wholesale Grocers, last month in the sale of the Clemens chain. If a deal is reached as expected, A&P would reopen the stores under the Superfresh banner, according to Wendell Young Jr., president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776. Young told SN last week that the union and A&P have agreed on terms to represent employees at the stores. Thirteen Clemens stores were sold last month to Ahold's Giant-Carlisle division; all of those stores were scheduled to be reopened under the Giant banner by this week.
Sales Improve, But 3Q Profits Down for Weis
SUNBURY, Pa. - Increases in costs for labor, fuel and credit/debit transactions led to a 15.4% decline in net earnings despite a 4.1% sales lift during the fiscal third quarter for Weis Markets, the company said last week. Overall the company earned $11.6 million, or 43 cents per share, on sales of $557.2 million for the 13-week period ending Sept. 30. Comparable-store sales increased by 3.2%, reflecting strong sales in perishables sparked by a new advertising campaign, Weis said. A 5.9% increase in labor costs was primarily related to nine expansion projects including eight remodels and a new store build, Weis said. Diesel fuel costs during the quarter increased by 27.1%, Weis said, adding that petroleum-related store supplies were up by around 15%. Weis also took a $1.2 million write-off for a closed store during the period.
Former Cashiers Sue Gristedes for Gender Bias
NEW YORK - A lawsuit filed here last week charges the Gristedes supermarket chain, also here, with discriminating against women by denying them training and opportunity for management positions. The suit, filed on behalf of Vanessa Hill and Margaret Anderson, former cashiers at separate stores in the chain, seeks class-action status, unspecified punitive damages and a jury trial, according to Outten & Golden, attorneys for the plaintiffs. A Gristedes spokesman denied the charges and said the retailer would have additional comment after it reviewed the case.
Spartan to Buy PrairieStone Pharmacies in D&W
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Spartan Stores here said last week that it has agreed to buy certain assets of PrairieStone Pharmacy, Plymouth, Minn., including the inventory and prescription files of the pharmacies in 12 of Spartan's recently acquired D&W Fresh Market stores. Terms of the acquisition, which is scheduled to close next month, were not disclosed. Spartan said it would rebrand the pharmacies. Spartan said the purchase would boost annual sales by $20 million to $25 million.
Publix, Kroger Landlords in $6.2 Billion Merger
CLEVELAND - Developers Diversified here said last week it would acquire 307 shopping centers in the Southeast as part of a $6.2 billion merger with Inland Retail Real Estate Trust. The portfolio includes 53 sites anchored by Publix Super Markets and 24 anchored by Kroger. Developers said it would generate additional value by implementing its development, leasing and property management systems to the acquired properties.
Fitch Revises Safeway's Debt Outlook to Stable
NEW YORK - Fitch Ratings here last week revised its outlook on Safeway debt from negative to stable, citing progress the Pleasanton, Calif.-based retailer has made in debt reduction and in operating cash flow. Fitch maintained its "BBB" rating on Safeway debt, reflecting strong positions in key markets and a strategy that has improved operating trends.