MAHWAH, N.J. -- J. Wayne Harris, chairman and chief executive officer of Grand Union Co., Wayne, N.J., told the company's annual shareholders' meeting at a hotel here last week that Grand Union is expanding its previously announced capital development plan to include more than 100 projects over the next three years.
As originally announced in April, the plan included only 53 projects.
The meeting was management's first opportunity to address shareholders on the progress the company has made since August 1998, when Grand Union emerged from its second bankruptcy in three years.
The sense of an enterprise beginning a new phase was expressed by Harris in his opening remarks, in which he welcomed the audience "to the first annual meeting of the new Grand Union company."
The company also reported on its results for the 16-week quarter ended July 24 at the meeting. Net sales were down 1% to $687.3 million, a decline Harris attributed to an accident of the calendar; last year, Easter fell in the first quarter, but this year it didn't.
Grand Union's net cash flow rose 16% to $31.1 million for the period.
Referring to these figures as well as the results from last year, Harris said, "We did what we did without any capital investment whatsoever. If we can operate with our hands tied behind our back, we think we'll do OK now."
Following his talk, Harris responded to an investment analyst's question about a possible merger by insisting the company was not for sale.
"We are doing the right thing, building a better store-base," said Harris in response to a question about whether Grand Union is looking for a buyer. "If we become more valuable, it's just because we are doing the right thing."
Jack Partridge, vice chairman and chief administrative officer, told SN after the meeting, "We are not actively seeking a strategic partner."