ACME, WORKERS AGREE TO NEW DEAL
PHILADELPHIA — Union workers at Acme stores last week voted to approve a new contract, ending 18 months of tense negotiations. The new contract runs through February 2012 and covers 4,000 workers at 40 stores represented by United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776. Workers had been on an extended contract since February of 2008 with Acme, a division of Minneapolis-based Supervalu.
COLORADO WORKERS EXTEND TALKS
DENVER — Union workers for Colorado's two major supermarket chains agreed last week to extend talks for a new contract until Aug. 15. United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7 here has been negotiating separately with employers King Soopers and Safeway to replace a contract that expired in May. The union last week said it was still waiting to schedule additional talks with Albertsons.
SUPERVALU SUED FOR SECURITIES FRAUD
NEW YORK — Supervalu gave “false and misleading” financial guidance that helped the retailer raise $1 billion through the debt market before a downward revision sent its stock reeling, according to allegations in a lawsuit filed here last week. The suit seeks class-action status on behalf of investors who bought Supervalu stock between April 23 — when the company announced fourth-quarter sales results and fiscal 2010 guidance — and June 23 — when the company announced that first-quarter earnings would be below expectations. The suit alleges that Supervalu intentionally overstated earnings guidance so as to close a $1 billion debt offering in late April. Supervalu declined comment.
FOOD LION EXPANDS HISPANIC FORMAT
SALISBURY, N.C. — Food Lion is stepping up its efforts to market to Hispanic shoppers, converting 12 stores in North Carolina to a “Sabor Latino” format. According to reports, the retailer plans to convert as many as 59 stores in North Carolina to that format this year. Food Lion began testing a Hispanic focus last year and stepped up the program when 13 renovated stores in the Piedmont area opened with the new scheme.
NUTRITION IQ COMES TO CUB FOODS
MINNEAPOLIS — Nutrition iQ — Supervalu's color-coded shelf-tag program that helps consumers identify healthier food choices — has been extended to 73 Cub Foods stores in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois, the retailer here said. Supervalu in January debuted Nutrition iQ at more than 500 Albertsons stores in the Western U.S. The company said preliminary results suggests the program steers shoppers toward better-for-you foods. Supervalu expects to extend the program to its other divisions this year.
WAL-MART SETTLES SUIT FOR $17.5M
BENTONVILLE, Ark. — A federal judge in Little Rock, Ark., has approved a $17.5 million settlement of a class-action discrimination lawsuit against Wal-Mart Stores here. The retailer in February said it had reached a settlement in the case, which charged that Wal-Mart turned away black applicants for truck-driving positions. Wal-Mart denied any unlawful discrimination. The settlement includes job placement for 23 drivers who sued the company and an agreement by the retailer to put a greater effort toward minority job recruitment, according to reports.