H-E-B PLANS NEW DISCOUNT BANNER
HOUSTON — H.E. Butt Grocery Co. is preparing to debut a new discount supermarket called Joe V's Smart Shop on May 5, SN has learned. The store, according to its website, will offer “farm-fresh produce, top-quality meat and everything in between” at “outrageously low prices.” The store “keeps things simple” to cut costs, the site explains. The store is located about 20 miles north of downtown Houston near George Bush Intercontinental Airport and is being built from the ground up, according to information on its Facebook page. Further information was not immediately available. The banner would join other specialty formats operated by H-E-B, including the more upscale Central Market, the H-E-B Plus supercenters and the Hispanic-themed Mi Tienda.
ROUNDY'S CHICAGO NAME: MARIANO'S
MILWAUKEE — Roundy's Supermarkets here last week said the stores it is planning to open in the Chicago market will be called “Mariano's Fresh Market,” after the chain's chief executive officer, Robert Mariano, a longtime Chicago supermarket operator. “Mariano's Fresh Market will epitomize their brand promise: Shop Well. Eat Well. Live Well,” the company said in a prepared statement. The first of two planned stores is scheduled to open this summer in Arlington Heights, with a second slated to follow next year in the downtown area on East Randolph Street.
SPARTAN LAUNCHES VALUE PROGRAM
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Responding to a heightened need for value in its stores, Spartan Stores here has introduced a pricing program at its stores throughout Michigan. The Value Price program, Spartan said, offers lower product pricing and an enhanced promotion and advertising program to make these items easier to find and show the consumer how much money they are saving. Value Price items will be advertised statewide through television, radio, the Web, print, newspaper inserts, and in-store with large yellow oval signs for weekly specials, Basket of Values, Wall of Values, and special pricing on thousands of essential household items consumers buy most often. The campaign started last month at Spartan's Family Fare, Glen's, Felpausch and VG's banners.
NEW-STORE BUILDS TO SLOW IN 2010
BOSTON — New retail store construction is expected to be at a 25-year low in 2010, according to a new report from Colliers International here. The 2010 Retail Trends and Opportunities Report contends that while lease rates have dropped, new construction will be slow, and retail bankruptcies are likely to continue, an expected rebound in consumer sentiment and spending could stave off the “tsunami many forecasters predicted, and as such, Colliers has dubbed 2010 as the year in which ‘not as bad is the new good.’” The report forecasts that supermarkets will face increased challenges for its shoppers from dollar stores, drug stores and convenience outlets like 7-Eleven.
REWARD OFFERED IN CANADA TAMPERING
CALGARY, Alberta — The Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors issued a $10,000 reward for information concerning recent product tampering in Canadian supermarkets, according to local reports. Safeway last week became the latest victim in a series of tampering episodes in Western Canada that had previously impacted Sobeys and local independents. In some of the cases, bits of metal or pins were said to have been inserted in products, the Vancouver Sun reported.