A&P SUES STOP & SHOP OVER CLAIMS
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — A&P has filed suit against Stop & Shop in U.S. District Court here, accusing its rival of making misleading statements in comparative price advertisements. The suit claims that Stop & Shop's current price campaign falsely claims that customers “can save money every time they shop” at Stop & Shop rather than A&P. The campaign purports to use prices on a basket of identical items at Stop & Shop and a local A&P store, but A&P claims the ads contain false prices, misleading artwork and were based on purchase orders that could not be found at A&P on the dates indicated. A&P contends the campaign violates federal and state business law. It is seeking to have Stop & Shop pull the ads and issue corrective advertisements, among other remedies. Stop & Shop was not available for comment.
ACME, UNION DISCUSS LABOR BUYOUT
PHILADELPHIA — Acme and the union representing workers here are discussing terms of a voluntary severance program that would go into effect this fall. Terms of the buyout are still being discussed but a draft published on the website of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776 calls for two weeks of pay for every year of service for workers with most seniority, with terminations expected to begin Oct. 29 and lasting until Feb. 1, 2011. Acme is a division of Supervalu, Minneapolis.
FRESH & EASY PLANS NO. CALIF. STORES
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market here said last week it plans to enter Northern California early next year with eight stores — the chain's first units north of Fresno. Of the eight locations, seven will be in the San Francisco Bay area — in the cities of San Francisco, Concord, Danville, Pacifica, San Jose, Vacaville and Walnut Creek — and one will be further inland, in Modesto. Fresh & Easy, a division of London-based Tesco, operates 159 stores in California, Arizona and Nevada, though the bulk of its recent growth has been in California. The company said it plans to open nine more California stores in September, including its 100th store in the area.
NASH FINCH SETTLES AVANZA SUITS
MINNEAPOLIS — Nash Finch Co. here said it has agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by customers of its Avanza format in Denver who claimed that the banner's pricing message was deceptive. As previously reported, Avanza's “Shelf Plus 10” pricing policy, which added 10% to shoppers' total bill at the cash register, was discontinued last year after customers complained. Nash Finch said it has agreed to pay each of six plaintiffs in the case $700, for a total of $4,200. “We believe the signage we used in the stores clearly explained how that pricing program worked, but decided to agree to the Court's entry of judgment in the amount of $4,200 rather than incur the cost of a trial,” said Alec C. Covington, president and chief executive officer, Nash Finch, in a prepared statement.
SOBEYS TO RELOCATE TO NEW HQ
STELLARTON, Nova Scotia — Sobeys here said last week it would build a new headquarters building across the street from the facility its executives have occupied since 1946. Construction of the 55,000-square-foot, three-story building is expected to begin in September. It will be ready for occupancy in September 2011, Sobeys said. The current headquarters at 115 King St. would be demolished for parking.