MARSH PLANS TO SHUTTER 16 STORES, TRIM STAFF
d last week it will shutter 16 locations during the next month and reduce its corporate staff by 10% following the company's recent acquisition by a private-equity firm. The stores include one Marsh supermarket, seven price-impact LoBill outlets, two O'Malia's stores, both Arthur's Fresh Markets and four Village Pantry convenience stores. Marsh said it would continue to operate 66 Marsh stores, 24 LoBills, four O'Malia's and 144 Village Pantries.
Activist Hedge Fund Buys Stake in Nash Finch
NEW YORK - Loeb Partners, the hedge fund which a year ago purchased a stake in Spartan Stores and summarily used its position to agitate for change at the company, has been buying stock in another Midwestern wholesaler, Nash Finch Co., government filings show. Loeb Partners and affiliated funds have taken a 5.07% stake in Minneapolis-based Nash, accumulating around 13 million shares since August, the filing said. Loeb's filing included boilerplate language suggesting the firm could engage in discussions with management or the board of directors but included nothing pertaining specifically to Nash.
Ohio Lawmaker Threatens Giant Eagle-Tops Deal
CLEVELAND - U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, has threatened to "raise the antitrust questions" about the proposed acquisition of a group of Tops stores in northeastern Ohio by Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle. Giant Eagle said last week it would acquire 18 Tops, keeping 13 as corporate stores and selling five others to local operators it supplies as a wholesaler. The acquisition would push Giant Eagle's market share to more than 50%, according to Metro Market Studies, Tucson, Ariz. "Our attorneys researched the issue carefully and have advised that there are no antitrust problems with this acquisition," a Giant Eagle spokesman told SN, noting that Giant Eagle is seeking to hire "as many Tops employees as possible." He also disputed accusations that the deal would result in higher grocery prices.
Union Reaches Agreement With New York Chains
REGO PARK, N.Y. - The union representing workers at A&P and Stop & Shop stores in the New York metro area reached a tentative agreement with both employers on a new contract last week, union officials said. Local 338 of the United Food and Commercial Workers here represents 12,000 workers in New York City, Long Island and Rockland and Westchester counties working at Stop & Shop, A&P, Food Emporium and Waldbaum's stores. The 54-month deal requires approval of members, who were expected to vote Sunday, Local 338 spokesman Joe Fontano told SN.
Loblaw to Fine Suppliers for 'No-Shows': Report
TORONTO - Loblaw Cos. here may levy fines of up to $1,000 Canadian ($874 U.S.) on suppliers whose shipments arrive late or suffer other delivery glitches, a published report said last week. The Globe and Mail newspaper based its report on a copy of a letter from Loblaw to suppliers dated Sept. 22. The letter said Loblaw was targeting "no-show" deliveries and said it would fine suppliers and refuse deliveries arriving in improper condition beginning last week. A Loblaw spokesman was not available.
Winn-Dixie, CEO Lynch Agree on New Contract
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Winn-Dixie Stores has asked U.S. Bankruptcy Court here to approve a contract extension for Peter Lynch, the chief executive officer "responsible for the remarkable progress made toward achieving a successful turnaround," according to a court filing. The contract, agreed to by Lynch, Winn-Dixie and its creditors, calls for an annual salary of $1.25 million and annual bonuses up to $1.25 million.