H-E-B EXPANDS IN DALLAS AREA
SAN ANTONIO — H.E. Butt Grocery Co. last week opened a new H-E-B store in Burleson, Texas, marking the arrival of its conventional format in the Dallas Metroplex. A powerhouse in Houston, Austin and its headquarters city of San Antonio, H-E-B has operated its Central Market concept in Dallas but has not operated a conventional store there. The 88,000-square-foot store in Burleson will offer both H-E-B and Central Market products and feature specialty departments including healthy living, meat, seafood, scratch bakery, a tortilleria, specialty cheeses, wines and a demonstration kitchen, the company said.
99-CENT MILK SPARKS PRICE WAR
DALLAS — An aggressive move to price milk at 99 cents a gallon at Aldi stores here has sparked matching responses from area Kroger, Wal-Mart and Target stores, a published report said last week. Aldi, the Batavia, Ill.-based discounter, started the pricing scuffle last week when it announced it was slashing gallons of milk to 99 cents through Oct. 6. At least some competitors were matching the price, with Kroger tasking out full-page ads in area newspapers to alert shoppers, the Dallas Morning News said. Aldi, new to the Dallas market, said the offer would last through Oct. 6.
PRICE CHOPPER IN TWITTER TUSSLE
ROTTERDAM, N.Y. — Officials of Price Chopper were working last week to simmer down a social-media fire that began when a Twitter exchange between an unhappy customer and a Price Chopper employee was recounted on a blog. The Price Chopper employee, who reportedly contacted the original message writer and his employer using a personal Twitter account and e-mail, was not authorized to respond for the company, and did not follow company procedures, according to Heidi Reale, director of consumer insights for Price Chopper. Reale posted an apology on a blog recounting the incident Monday.
TOLEDO KROGER EMPLOYEES OK PACT
TOLEDO, Ohio — Kroger workers represented by United Food and Commercial Workers Local 75 here last week ratified a new contract with the Cincinnati-based retailer said Tuesday. Around 3,000 union members working at 26 stores in Toledo and Northwest Ohio approved the three-year deal by about 70%, the union said. “We thank our associates for their service to our customers during this process and every day,” Bruce Macaulay, president of Kroger's Columbus Division, said in a statement. “This agreement provides our associates one of the best total compensation packages in our industry. It includes good wages, high-quality affordable health care and a pension when they retire.”
SUPERMARKETS SLIDE IN CENSUS DATA
NORTHBROOK, Ill. — Retail census data recently released by the U.S. government confirms that supermarkets are losing share to alternate formats selling food, according to an analysis by DSR Marketing Systems here. Figures from the 2007 Census of Retail Trade illustrated that although supermarket sales grew by 18% between 2002 and 2007, sales at warehouse clubs and supercenters increased by 70% in the same time period. “As a result the supermarket share of the total grocery and foods market continued its long term decline from 66% in 2002 to 63% in 2007 and a projected 62% in 2009,” according to the DSR report.