COBORN'S RELAUNCHES SIMONDELIVERS
NEW HOPE, Minn. — The online grocery ordering and home delivery service formerly known as SimonDelivers reopened last week under CobornsDelivers, a new name reflecting its new owner. SimonDelivers, founded in 1999, closed earlier this year due to rising food and fuel prices, as well as a shift in consumers' spending choices, and was subsequently purchased by Coborn's, the St. Cloud-based grocery store operator. “This business model has been admired by many in the online retail and grocery industries nationwide,” said Liwanag Ojala, the general manager of CobornsDelivers and the former chief executive officer of SimonDelivers, in a statement. “With Coborn's stronger buying power, product selection, and outstanding customer service, we're ready to deliver the best online grocery experience in the country.”
LOBLAW SHUTTERS STRUCK MAXI STORES
TORONTO — Thirteen Maxi stores in Quebec affected by a worker strike will remain closed until further notice, owner Loblaw here said. Around 800 workers at the stores, each of which is covered by its own labor agreement, walked off the job Oct. 22, citing a lack of progress in contract negotiations and a demand for deals similar to that which the retailer agreed to for its Maxi store in Baie-Comeau, Quebec. “We regret that our customers will take the brunt of this conflict,” the statement added. “We have done all that we could possibly do to avoid a work stoppage in these stores.” Maxi is a discount banner run by Loblaw's Provigo unit in Montreal, with stores throughout Quebec. The union estimated the strike could cost Loblaw more than $5.5 million a week.
HY-VEE TO EXPAND IN NEW WAREHOUSE
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Hy-Vee here last week broke ground on a new 230,000-square-foot warehouse in Cherokee, Iowa, for dry grocery and general merchandise, the company said. The estimated $17 million project is expected to be completed in about 10 months. The company said the additional warehouse was needed because its current warehouse in Cherokee was beyond capacity.
PENN TRAFFIC SETTLES INVESTIGATION
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Penn Traffic Co. here said last week it has reached a non-prosecution agreement with the U.S. Attorney's office for the Northern District of New York in connection with the office's ongoing investigation into the company's accounting practices between 2001 and 2004. As with the settlement Penn Traffic reached last month with the Securities and Exchange Commission in its related investigation, the agreement imposes no fines or monetary penalties on Penn Traffic. The company said the agreement applies only to Penn Traffic and does not address investigations into the activities of two of its former marketing executives, who were terminated in 2006.
CHAINS MAY CUT SPENDING: ANALYST
NEW YORK — A tight credit market could cause retailers Whole Foods Market and Supervalu to alter their growth plans in 2009, according to an analyst report from Credit Suisse bank published last week at Barrons.com. Whole Foods, according to the report, “will need to raise additional capital soon … and/or begin to exit new store leases,” unless sales stabilize and the company meets its earnings projections in 2008 — “which seems unlikely,” given the store's discretionary appeal, according to the report. Supervalu, the report added, “is less comfortable than many perceive,” and could cut capital expenditures.