PUBLIX SALES, EARNINGS UP IN Q2
LAKELAND, Fla. — Publix Super Markets last week reported improved sales and earnings in the second quarter. Sales of $6.2 billion increased 3.4% from last year's $6 billion, while comparable-stores increased by 2.4%. Publix attributed 1% of the sales increases to new stores. Net earnings improved 15.8% to $348.4 million and earnings per share were 44 cents, up from 38 cents. Gross profit as a percentage of sales improved to 28.7% from 28.2%, due mainly to improvements in shrink and lower distribution costs, Publix said. Effective Aug. 1, Publix's stock price decreased from $18.50 per share to $18.45 per share, the company said, reflecting a decline in the stock market. Publix stock is not publicly traded and is made available for sale only to current Publix associates and members of its board of directors.
HY-VEE BUYS 3 SUNSHINE STORES
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Hy-Vee here said last week that it had purchased three stores from Sunshine Foods, one of its largest rivals in Sioux Falls, S.D. The stores, two in Sioux Falls and one in Windom, Minn., will reopen as Hy-Vee stores after renovations, officials said. As part of the deal, Sunshine Foods said it would close an additional location in Sioux Falls, but would continue to operate its downtown Sioux Falls store as well as stores in nine rural communities. The acquisition would help Hy-Vee boost its market-leading share in the Sioux Falls metro area, where it held 39.9% share according to the 2010 Metro Market Studies guide. Rainbow Foods was the third-leading food retailer in the market after Hy-Vee and Wal-Mart.
FORMER EXECUTIVE OPENS OWN STORE
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The former general manager of Southern Family Markets has opened a new grocery store here, Cloverleaf Market. Jeff Burkhead, who was named general manager and senior vice president of Birmingham, Ala.-based Southern Family Markets in 2007, left the chain earlier this year to operate a former Piggly Wiggly store he acquired here, according to a report in the Commercial Appeal newspaper. Burkhead was a former executive with Memphis-based chain Seessel's, which was acquired by Bruno's Supermarkets, a precursor of the Southern Family chain.
FRESHDIRECT WORKERS SEEK UNION
NEW YORK — Skilled maintenance staff at Internet grocer FreshDirect here last week formally filed for union status. A majority of the workers — including electricians and mechanics — signed union authorization cards allowing for Teamsters Local 805 to petition the National Labor Relations Board for an election. A majority vote would allow Local 805 to represent all maintenance workers at the warehouse. FreshDirect, which has come under recent criticism from local officials for reportedly threatening to move its operations if employees unionize, has said it would not voluntarily recognize a union, labor sources said.
STEW LEONARD'S TO SELL SITE: REPORT
NORWALK, Conn. — Stew Leonard's will sell a property in Orange, Conn., rather than build a new store there, the New York Times reported last week. The retailer had acquired land for a store in Orange some 14 years ago but battled local opposition to build a store there for years. Stew Leonard Jr., chief executive officer of Stew Leonard's, told the Times that the family decided to sell because it was concerned a store there would cannibalize sales from another Stew Leonard's outlet in Newington, Conn.