Blog Archives

Bottom Dollar employees to receive severance as stores close

All 66 Bottom Dollar Food locations will close Jan. 15 and every employee will be offered severance, the company announced. Eligible employees will also receive career transition services.

“We want to thank our associates, customers and communities for their support over the past four years,” Gene Faller, VP of retail operations for Bottom Dollar Food.

Delhaize Group announced the sale of Bottom Dollars stores and associated lease liabilities in the greater Philadelphia and great Pittsburgh markets to Aldi in November. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2015. Aldi has not announced plans for the locations, although it will likely reopen most of the stores under its own banner later this year.

Related

Aldi’s purchase closes book on Bottom Dollar

Shoppers react to Bottom Dollar news

Suggested Categories More from Supermarket News

Supermarket News

Albertsons, Safeway divesting 168 stores

As a preliminary step toward their merger next month, Albertsons and Safeway said Friday they will jointly divest 168 stores across eight states.

The stores will be acquired by four buyers:

Haggen, Bellingham, Wash., which will purchase 146 stores in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

Associated Wholesale Grocers, Kansas City, Kansas, which will purchase 12 stores in Texas on behalf of Minyards.

Associated Foods Stores, Salt Lake City, which will acquire eight stores in Montana and Wyoming; and

Supervalu, Minneapolis, which will purchase two stores in Washington.

The purchases are all subject to approval by the Federal Trade Commission.

Albertsons and Safeway said in a joint statement the divestitures are being undertaken to secure clearance from the FTC for their merger — a deal they said is expected to close in January.

Under terms of the purchase agreements, the buyers will acquire the divested stores, plus the equipment and inventory, and are expected to hire most, if not all, existing store employees, Albertsons and Safeway said.


CONNECT WITH SN ON FACEBOOK

Like the Supermarket News page for updates throughout the day.


According to Robert Edwards, president and CEO of Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway, “We’re pleased to have found strong buyers for these stores and to have completed this important step toward combining Albertsons and Safeway.”

The biggest beneficiary of the deal appears to be Haggen, which will expand from 18 stores to 164 after its purchase and add an estimated $ 750 million in sales to its existing volume of $ 400 million.

Suggested Categories More from Supermarket News

Supermarket News

Albertsons, Safeway divesting 168 stores

As a preliminary step toward their merger next month, Albertsons and Safeway said Friday they will jointly divest 168 stores across eight states.

The stores will be acquired by four buyers:

Haggen, Bellingham, Wash., which will purchase 146 stores in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

Associated Wholesale Grocers, Kansas City, Kansas, which will purchase 12 stores in Texas on behalf of Minyards.

Associated Foods Stores, Salt Lake City, which will acquire eight stores in Montana and Wyoming; and

Supervalu, Minneapolis, which will purchase two stores in Washington.

The purchases are all subject to approval by the Federal Trade Commission.

Albertsons and Safeway said in a joint statement the divestitures are being undertaken to secure clearance from the FTC for their merger — a deal they said is expected to close in January.

Under terms of the purchase agreements, the buyers will acquire the divested stores, plus the equipment and inventory, and are expected to hire most, if not all, existing store employees, Albertsons and Safeway said.


CONNECT WITH SN ON FACEBOOK

Like the Supermarket News page for updates throughout the day.


According to Robert Edwards, president and CEO of Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway, “We’re pleased to have found strong buyers for these stores and to have completed this important step toward combining Albertsons and Safeway.”

The biggest beneficiary of the deal appears to be Haggen, which will expand from 18 stores to 164 after its purchase and add an estimated $ 750 million in sales to its existing volume of $ 400 million.

Suggested Categories More from Supermarket News

Supermarket News

Study: 70 Percent of Chickens in UK Stores Test Positive for Campylobacter

Seventy percent of supermarket chickens in the United Kingdom have tested positive for Campylobacter in the first half of a year-long study being conducted by the country’s Food Standards Agency (FSA).

In recent years, FSA has said its number-one food safety priority is to reduce contamination of Campylobacter, a foodborne bacteria largely associated with chicken that causes diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal cramping.

As part of that effort, the agency plans to test 4,000 supermarket chickens for Campylobacter over the course of a year. Now halfway through, they’ve tested 1,995 chickens and their packages.

Eighteen percent of chickens tested above the highest category of contamination levels (more than 1,000 colony-forming units per gram), while six percent of packages also tested positive for Campylobacter.

While the levels of contamination varied between retailers, no store has yet to meet targets for reducing Campylobacter levels.

According to FSA, Campylobacter is the most common form of food poisoning in the UK, sickening roughly 280,000 people a year. In the U.S., Campylobacter is estimated to cause 1.3 million illnesses each year.

Earlier this week, major U.K. retailer Marks & Spencer announced its “Campylobacter challenge,” a 5-point program intended to reduce levels of illnesses contracted from its chicken. Strategies outlined in the plan include rapidly chilling chickens as they’re processed and offering bonuses to farmers who produce chickens on Campylobacter-free farms.

In 2011, food safety law firm Marler Clark funded a bacterial survey of retail chicken sold in the Seattle area, finding that 65 percent was contaminated with Campylobacter. (Marler Clark underwrites Food Safety News.)

Additionally, 42 percent of chicken in that survey was contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus. In total, 80 percent of chicken samples were found to harbor some potentially harmful pathogen.

Food Safety News

Study: 70 Percent of Chickens in UK Stores Test Positive for Campylobacter

Seventy percent of supermarket chickens in the United Kingdom have tested positive for Campylobacter in the first half of a year-long study being conducted by the country’s Food Standards Agency (FSA).

In recent years, FSA has said its number-one food safety priority is to reduce contamination of Campylobacter, a foodborne bacteria largely associated with chicken that causes diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal cramping.

As part of that effort, the agency plans to test 4,000 supermarket chickens for Campylobacter over the course of a year. Now halfway through, they’ve tested 1,995 chickens and their packages.

Eighteen percent of chickens tested above the highest category of contamination levels (more than 1,000 colony-forming units per gram), while six percent of packages also tested positive for Campylobacter.

While the levels of contamination varied between retailers, no store has yet to meet targets for reducing Campylobacter levels.

According to FSA, Campylobacter is the most common form of food poisoning in the UK, sickening roughly 280,000 people a year. In the U.S., Campylobacter is estimated to cause 1.3 million illnesses each year.

Earlier this week, major U.K. retailer Marks & Spencer announced its “Campylobacter challenge,” a 5-point program intended to reduce levels of illnesses contracted from its chicken. Strategies outlined in the plan include rapidly chilling chickens as they’re processed and offering bonuses to farmers who produce chickens on Campylobacter-free farms.

In 2011, food safety law firm Marler Clark funded a bacterial survey of retail chicken sold in the Seattle area, finding that 65 percent was contaminated with Campylobacter. (Marler Clark underwrites Food Safety News.)

Additionally, 42 percent of chicken in that survey was contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus. In total, 80 percent of chicken samples were found to harbor some potentially harmful pathogen.

Food Safety News

Study: 70 Percent of Chickens in UK Stores Test Positive for Campylobacter

Seventy percent of supermarket chickens in the United Kingdom have tested positive for Campylobacter in the first half of a year-long study being conducted by the country’s Food Standards Agency (FSA).

In recent years, FSA has said its number-one food safety priority is to reduce contamination of Campylobacter, a foodborne bacteria largely associated with chicken that causes diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal cramping.

As part of that effort, the agency plans to test 4,000 supermarket chickens for Campylobacter over the course of a year. Now halfway through, they’ve tested 1,995 chickens and their packages.

Eighteen percent of chickens tested above the highest category of contamination levels (more than 1,000 colony-forming units per gram), while six percent of packages also tested positive for Campylobacter.

While the levels of contamination varied between retailers, no store has yet to meet targets for reducing Campylobacter levels.

According to FSA, Campylobacter is the most common form of food poisoning in the UK, sickening roughly 280,000 people a year. In the U.S., Campylobacter is estimated to cause 1.3 million illnesses each year.

Earlier this week, major U.K. retailer Marks & Spencer announced its “Campylobacter challenge,” a 5-point program intended to reduce levels of illnesses contracted from its chicken. Strategies outlined in the plan include rapidly chilling chickens as they’re processed and offering bonuses to farmers who produce chickens on Campylobacter-free farms.

In 2011, food safety law firm Marler Clark funded a bacterial survey of retail chicken sold in the Seattle area, finding that 65 percent was contaminated with Campylobacter. (Marler Clark underwrites Food Safety News.)

Additionally, 42 percent of chicken in that survey was contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus. In total, 80 percent of chicken samples were found to harbor some potentially harmful pathogen.

Food Safety News

Bi-Lo, Associated Food Stores accept Apple Pay

Bi-Lo Holdings, parent company of Bi-Lo, Harveys and Winn-Dixie stores, will support Apple Pay mobile payments across its eight-state operating area.

Apple Pay is available to iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users, who hold their phones to a contactless reader and place their finger on a Touch ID screen to pay.

“Customers want a shopping experience that is convenient, easy and secure, which is why we’re so pleased to announce support for Apple Pay,” said Bert DuMars, VP, digital marketing at Bi-Lo Holdings, in a press release. “Bi-Lo Holdings is prioritizing digital mobile solutions for our customers, and Apple Pay is an exciting first step in our journey.”

Associated Food Stores has also announced that it’s offering Apple Pay at 135 of its local and independent grocers.


CONNECT WITH SN ON FACEBOOK

Like the Supermarket News page for updates throughout the day.


“We want to make grocery shopping as easy as possible for our guests,” said Jason Sokol, director of marketing for AFS, in a press release. “That includes offering a variety of options when it comes to payment, from traditional choices like cash and cards to mobile purchases.”

When a credit or debit card is added to Apple Pay, the card numbers are not stored on the device or on Apple services. Instead, a unique device account number is assigned, encrypted and stored in the secure element on one’s device. Each transaction is authorized with a one-time security code, according to the release.

Suggested Categories More from Supermarket News

Supermarket News

Target to close 11 stores

Target Corp. said Tuesday that it planned to close 11 stores by Feb. 1, citing performance issues.

The stores include three locations in Michigan (Bay City, Monroe, Northland), two stores in Illinois (McHenry, Calumet City) and single stores in Lithonia, Ga.; Clinton, Iowa; Castleton, Ind.; Wichita East, Kan.; Austin, Minn.; and Carrolton, Texas.

“The decision to close a Target store is only made after careful consideration of the long-term financial performance of a particular location,” Target said in a press release. “All eligible store team members are being offered the option to transfer to other Target stores. Team members who choose not to transfer will be offered a separation package.”

Suggested Categories More from Supermarketnews

Supermarket News

Target to close 11 stores

Target Corp. said Tuesday that it planned to close 11 stores by Feb. 1, citing performance issues.

The stores include three locations in Michigan (Bay City, Monroe, Northland), two stores in Illinois (McHenry, Calumet City) and single stores in Lithonia, Ga.; Clinton, Iowa; Castleton, Ind.; Wichita East, Kan.; Austin, Minn.; and Carrolton, Texas.

“The decision to close a Target store is only made after careful consideration of the long-term financial performance of a particular location,” Target said in a press release. “All eligible store team members are being offered the option to transfer to other Target stores. Team members who choose not to transfer will be offered a separation package.”

Suggested Categories More from Supermarketnews

Supermarket News

Strikes in Belgium shut down Delhaize stores: Reports

More than 100 stores owned by Delhaize in Belgium were unable to open Friday after employees at the company called a wildcat strike to protest the retailer’s proposed restructuring, reports said.

Warehouse workers walked off the job Thursday after union representatives received word of a proposal from Delhaize that would save jobs but eliminate pay for worker breaks and reduce leave, reports said.

The proposal was revised from a June restructuring plan that would have eliminated around 2,500 jobs and close 14 stores.

Delhaize officials have said the company is beset by a higher cost structure than its peers in Belgium, as detailed in this slide at right presented at the retailer’s most recent financial conference call in August.

Striking workers reportedly have blocked the entrance to two Belgium warehouses.

The below Tweet from a Belgian news site shows a photograph of striking workers wearing a sign that translates to “We are all on sale.”

Delhaize officials were not immediately available for comment Friday. One newspaper said a spokesman said the disruption “will have huge economic repercussions for the company.”

Supermarket News

Strikes in Belgium shut down Delhaize stores: Reports

More than 100 stores owned by Delhaize in Belgium were unable to open Friday after employees at the company called a wildcat strike to protest the retailer’s proposed restructuring, reports said.

Warehouse workers walked off the job Thursday after union representatives received word of a proposal from Delhaize that would save jobs but eliminate pay for worker breaks and reduce leave, reports said.

The proposal was revised from a June restructuring plan that would have eliminated around 2,500 jobs and close 14 stores.

Delhaize officials have said the company is beset by a higher cost structure than its peers in Belgium, as detailed in this slide at right presented at the retailer’s most recent financial conference call in August.

Striking workers reportedly have blocked the entrance to two Belgium warehouses.

The below Tweet from a Belgian news site shows a photograph of striking workers wearing a sign that translates to “We are all on sale.”

Delhaize officials were not immediately available for comment Friday. One newspaper said a spokesman said the disruption “will have huge economic repercussions for the company.”

Supermarket News

Strikes in Belgium shut down Delhaize stores: Reports

More than 100 stores owned by Delhaize in Belgium were unable to open Friday after employees at the company called a wildcat strike to protest the retailer’s proposed restructuring, reports said.

Warehouse workers walked off the job Thursday after union representatives received word of a proposal from Delhaize that would save jobs but eliminate pay for worker breaks and reduce leave, reports said.

The proposal was revised from a June restructuring plan that would have eliminated around 2,500 jobs and close 14 stores.

Delhaize officials have said the company is beset by a higher cost structure than its peers in Belgium, as detailed in this slide at right presented at the retailer’s most recent financial conference call in August.

Striking workers reportedly have blocked the entrance to two Belgium warehouses.

The below Tweet from a Belgian news site shows a photograph of striking workers wearing a sign that translates to “We are all on sale.”

Delhaize officials were not immediately available for comment Friday. One newspaper said a spokesman said the disruption “will have huge economic repercussions for the company.”

Supermarket News

Are meal solution stores on their way?

During our recent travels to Amsterdam, we had a chance to visit a unique retail concept called Bilder & DeClerq.

Each recipe includes all of the portion-controlled ingredients.Each day, the store offers 14 recipes, complete with all of the ingredients that one would need to prepare that recipe. And by all, we mean that each ingredient is available, portion controlled, so there is no waste. Preparation time for most dishes is around 30 minutes, and the company makes a point of actively searching our local and sustainable ingredients.

In addition to the recipe stations, the remainder of the store features a small café, cooking demonstration area and curated specialty foods products that can help complete a meal.

There are currently two of these locations in Amsterdam and they just recently added a “recipe wall” at the new Google headquarters in Amsterdam, where employees can scan a recipe and have the package delivered to their office.

Bilder & DeClerq features recipe stations at two locations.While it’s always fascinating to visit concepts abroad, it is not always clear how easily they might translate to the U.S. market. Bilder & DeClerq still leaves the extra step of making it at home and perhaps the inconvenience of a separate stop outweighs the benefit of being a specialist.

In any case, it is an eye opener and idea generator. Back home in the U.S., others are working on variations here as well. Fast-growing web start-ups like Plated and Blue Apron offer essentially the same proposition as a Bilder & DeClerq with the ingredients shipped directly to your home.

What these ideas have in common is the idea that convenience and solutions can be taken a step further than most supermarkets have done today. Publix does this today with their long-running Aprons program, which offers customers both added convenience and meal inspiration.

Maybe there will be a new wave of competition in the future going after the “meal solutions.” Or, maybe it outlines an opportunity to rethink how supermarkets present these solutions to their customers.

Are meal stores the wave of the future or a new business opportunity?

Supermarket News

Associated Food Stores founder to retire

Harry Laufer, who founded Associated Food Stores, Hewlett, N.Y., in 1954, said he plans to retire at the end of the month. 

The wholesaler services independent operators in New York City, Upstate New York and several surrounding states. Laufer is 82.

Robert A. Sigel will succeed him as president. Most recently Sigel has been operating executive at AUA Private Equity Partners, of which Associated is a portfolio company. He started his career at Millbrook Distribution Services, a value-added distributor of health, beauty care, general merchandise and specialty food products founded by his father in Worcester, Mass. After Millbrook was sold to McKesson, he became president and CEO of McKesson’s Service Merchandising Division.


CONNECT WITH SN ON TWITTER

Follow @SN_News for updates throughout the day.


“Associated Food Stores has a long history of providing value added services enabling independent supermarket owners to successfully grow their businesses,” said Sigel in a statement. “I look forward to working with our store owners, suppliers, and associates as we embark on our mission of expanding our services and our store concentration in the New York Metro area and beyond.”

Suggested Categories More from Supermarketnews

Supermarket News

Associated Food Stores founder to retire

Harry Laufer, who founded Associated Food Stores, Hewlett, N.Y., in 1954, said he plans to retire at the end of the month. 

The wholesaler services independent operators in New York City, Upstate New York and several surrounding states. Laufer is 82.

Robert A. Sigel will succeed him as president. Most recently Sigel has been operating executive at AUA Private Equity Partners, of which Associated is a portfolio company. He started his career at Millbrook Distribution Services, a value-added distributor of health, beauty care, general merchandise and specialty food products founded by his father in Worcester, Mass. After Millbrook was sold to McKesson, he became president and CEO of McKesson’s Service Merchandising Division.


CONNECT WITH SN ON TWITTER

Follow @SN_News for updates throughout the day.


“Associated Food Stores has a long history of providing value added services enabling independent supermarket owners to successfully grow their businesses,” said Sigel in a statement. “I look forward to working with our store owners, suppliers, and associates as we embark on our mission of expanding our services and our store concentration in the New York Metro area and beyond.”

Suggested Categories More from Supermarketnews

Supermarket News

Ralphs hosts ‘Shop with Your Doc’ stores tours

Ralphs and St. Joseph Hoag Health have joined forces for free doctor- and nutritionist-led “Shop with Your Doc” store tours.

During the Ralphs and Food4Less events, health experts offered tips like eating more colorful produce to reduce the risk of developing diseases like Alzheimer’s and stroke; trying alternatives to fatty meats like beans or lentils; and choosing breads and cereal with whole-grain ingredients.

The program is part of St. Joseph Hoag Health’s focus on improving the health of entire communities in Orange County, Calif., and not just hospital patients. Given the number of participants in the first round of tours, St. Joseph Hoag Health is hoping to make the Ralphs tours recurring, said a company spokesman. 


CONNECT WITH SN ON TWITTER

Follow @SN_News for updates throughout the day.


“The supermarket has become the place where we make our most important everyday health decisions. We think everyone should be able to make those choices with the help of care providers and health experts they trust,” said Dr. Richard Afable, CEO of St. Joseph Hoag Health, in a statement.

“Creating healthier communities requires a team approach. That means that doctors should be partnering with residents in our neighborhoods on wellness efforts, and it means that health care providers should be working with organizations like Ralphs to make even more resources available. Helping shoppers make more nutritious choices is a key part of this approach.”

Suggested Categories More from Supermarketnews

Supermarket News

Ralphs hosts ‘Shop with Your Doc’ stores tours

Ralphs and St. Joseph Hoag Health have joined forces for free doctor- and nutritionist-led “Shop with Your Doc” store tours.

During the Ralphs and Food4Less events, health experts offered tips like eating more colorful produce to reduce the risk of developing diseases like Alzheimer’s and stroke; trying alternatives to fatty meats like beans or lentils; and choosing breads and cereal with whole-grain ingredients.

The program is part of St. Joseph Hoag Health’s focus on improving the health of entire communities in Orange County, Calif., and not just hospital patients. Given the number of participants in the first round of tours, St. Joseph Hoag Health is hoping to make the Ralphs tours recurring, said a company spokesman. 


CONNECT WITH SN ON TWITTER

Follow @SN_News for updates throughout the day.


“The supermarket has become the place where we make our most important everyday health decisions. We think everyone should be able to make those choices with the help of care providers and health experts they trust,” said Dr. Richard Afable, CEO of St. Joseph Hoag Health, in a statement.

“Creating healthier communities requires a team approach. That means that doctors should be partnering with residents in our neighborhoods on wellness efforts, and it means that health care providers should be working with organizations like Ralphs to make even more resources available. Helping shoppers make more nutritious choices is a key part of this approach.”

Suggested Categories More from Supermarketnews

Supermarket News

Ralphs hosts ‘Shop with Your Doc’ stores tours

Ralphs and St. Joseph Hoag Health have joined forces for free doctor- and nutritionist-led “Shop with Your Doc” store tours.

During the Ralphs and Food4Less events, health experts offered tips like eating more colorful produce to reduce the risk of developing diseases like Alzheimer’s and stroke; trying alternatives to fatty meats like beans or lentils; and choosing breads and cereal with whole-grain ingredients.

The program is part of St. Joseph Hoag Health’s focus on improving the health of entire communities in Orange County, Calif., and not just hospital patients. Given the number of participants in the first round of tours, St. Joseph Hoag Health is hoping to make the Ralphs tours recurring, said a company spokesman. 


CONNECT WITH SN ON TWITTER

Follow @SN_News for updates throughout the day.


“The supermarket has become the place where we make our most important everyday health decisions. We think everyone should be able to make those choices with the help of care providers and health experts they trust,” said Dr. Richard Afable, CEO of St. Joseph Hoag Health, in a statement.

“Creating healthier communities requires a team approach. That means that doctors should be partnering with residents in our neighborhoods on wellness efforts, and it means that health care providers should be working with organizations like Ralphs to make even more resources available. Helping shoppers make more nutritious choices is a key part of this approach.”

Suggested Categories More from Supermarketnews

Supermarket News

Big stores still work for Kroger

While Target announced plans earlier this month for a 12,000-square-foot store, Kroger Co. is still seeing traction with its 120,000-square-foot locations.

“We’ve had good success with our Marketplace format. It is driving a lot of our sales and growth right now,” said Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen in an earnings call on Thursday. Still, Kroger is open to new smaller format possibilities.

The company has been doing research and planning around smaller formats, and carefully observing dollar store chains. McMullen pointed out that Kroger has already been in the smaller format business with its Dillons Food Stores banner.

“And, we think it will be important over time to have even a smaller store that’s part of the profile that’s probably a convenient store, not necessarily a convenience store. But it’s something we continue to work on. We haven’t figured out how to make money the way we’d like to make money there, but we haven’t given up either.”

Suggested Categories More from Supermarketnews

Supermarket News