JEWEL PLANS ‘URBAN FRESH’ STORE
MELROSE PARK, Ill. — Jewel-Osco here said last week that it would open a 16,000-square-foot store in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood under the “Urban Fresh, by Jewel” banner this fall, joining a wave of food retailers testing new smaller formats. The new store will be designed as a specialty grocery store with a focus on fresh and prepared meals for busy shoppers. Jewel-Osco is a division of Supervalu, Minneapolis. Safeway, A&P, Sobeys and Wal-Mart, among others, have also recently opened or announced plans to open smaller-format stores as well.
ALDI READIES FOR FLORIDA INVASION
BATAVIA, Ill. — Aldi is preparing for its entrance into Florida with a job recruiting website, aldifloridajobs.com. The site links job seekers with information about warehouse, retail and managerial positions soon to be available as the discounter begins a scheduled rollout of stores in Florida beginning in September. The website lists 24 locations scheduled for fall store openings, along with a warehouse in Haines City, Fla. Aldi will be hosting job fairs at several locations beginning this week, according to the website. Planned sites include four in Orlando, two in Tampa, two in Pinellas Park and one each in Brandon, Clearwater, Daytona, Lady Lake, Lakeland, Largo, Merritt Island, Ocala, Palm Bay, Plant City, Rockledge, Sanford, St. Petersburg, St. Cloud, Titusville and Winter Park.
TOPCO'S ONQI GETS NEW NAME
SKOKIE, Ill. — The Overall Nutritional Quality Index (ONQI), a nutritional scoring system developed as a joint venture of Topco Associates and Griffin Hospital, will debut in three major U.S. grocery chains this September as the NuVal Nutritional Scoring System. Developed over a two-year period by a panel of 12 medical and nutrition experts, the system uses a proprietary algorithm — weighing 30 different nutrient factors — to give foods a score of 1 to 100. NuVal President Nancy McDermott said the newly formed company is currently working to score all 40,000 products available in the average grocery store. The initial three chains to use the system will be publicly announced in September. The on-shelf consumer education program is expected to be operating nationwide by July 2009.
KMART TO CLOSE THREE SUPERCENTERS
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Kmart here said it would close four stores — including three Super Kmart supercenters — this fall. The supercenters — located in Defiance, Ohio, Reno, Nev., and Greeley, Colo. — are scheduled to close Sept. 28, a Kmart spokeswoman told SN. She said the stores are closing “for business reasons,” but declined to elaborate. The closures would leave Kmart operating 52 Super Kmart stores, which include a full-service grocery store and range in size from 140,000 to 190,000 square feet. The fourth store scheduled to close is a Kmart discount store in Ionia, Mich., the spokeswoman said.
SPROUTS UPGRADES WEBSITE FEATURES
PHOENIX — Sprouts Farmers Market here has launched a new website it said would help improve the shopping experience and the overall health and wellness of its shoppers. The newly reorganized site allows shoppers to link to weekly specials and gift cards; access health information and recipes; and sign up for in-store events and lectures, Sprouts said.