WEGMANS TO SNUFF OUT ALL TOBACCO PRODUCTS
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Wegmans Food Markets here is phasing out its tobacco categories, citing concerns for customers' health. Beginning Sunday, Feb. 10, cigarettes and other tobacco products will no longer be sold by the chain, despite the fact that the products are “very profitable,” the company said. In the meantime, no new product will be ordered and only remaining inventory will be available for sale, according to the retailer. “As a company, we respect a person's right to smoke, but we also understand the destructive role smoking plays in health,” said Danny Wegman, chief executive officer, in a statement.
DELHAIZE BUYS GREEK CHAIN FROM TENGELMANN
BRUSSELS — Delhaize Group here has agreed to acquire Greek retailer Plus Hellas from the Tengelmann Group of Germany for about $102.7 million. The acquisition, which Delhaize is making through its existing chain in Greece, Alfa-Beta Vassilopoulos, includes 33 stores and a distribution center. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter. Plus Hellas has annual sales of about $100 million, according to Tengelmann's website. Tengelmann owns a large stake in the A&P chain in the U.S. and has extensive additional holdings in Europe. In a prepared statement, Delhaize said the acquired stores would be converted to Alfa-Beta banners and would give the chain a stronger presence in northern Greece. Alfa-Beta operated about 154 stores under various banners as of September 2007.
NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL PASSES BAG RECYCLING BILL
NEW YORK — The City Council here voted last week by a wide margin to require supermarkets and drug stores to collect plastic bags for recycling. The legislation, which reports said was thus far unopposed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, applies to stores that use plastic bags and occupy 5,000 or more square feet or have more than five outlets in New York City, according to a statement from the City Council. Stores would be required to provide collection bins and would have to use plastic bags printed with the words “Please return this bag to a participating store for recycling” or a similar message. They would also have to offer reusable bags for sale to shoppers. The stores will also be required to submit annual reports to the Department of Sanitation on the amount and weight of collected plastic bags.
UFCW LOCAL IN CALIFORNIA PLACED UNDER TRUSTEESHIP
CAMARILLO, Calif. — United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1036 here has been placed under trusteeship following the local's failure to hold elections for new officers, the UFCW International Union said last week. In imposing the trusteeship, the international removed the officers in place, including George Hartwell, who had served as president of the local since 1992, and assigned Sean Barclay, international vice president and director of UFCW Region 8, as trustee, a UFCW spokeswoman said. Local 1036 represents more than 11,600 grocery workers in Central California. Its members in October voted against merging with UFCW Local 770 in Los Angeles — a move its executive board had endorsed. The UFCW spokeswoman told SN trusteeships can last for anywhere from 12 to 18 months.
KROGER MID-SOUTH TO CONSOLIDATE INTO NEW HQ
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Kroger's Mid-South division plans to move this summer to an 85,000-square-foot building in the Hurstbourne Green business park here, reports said. Kroger closed on the $9 million purchase of the building last week, according to Louisville Business First. Around 340 associates in Kroger's Mid-South division, currently divided between two leased locations, will occupy the building, the report said.