MONTREAL -- Metro-Richelieu here and its affiliated retailers plan to reduce capital investments in 1998 to $56 million U.S. -- a drop of 8.2% from the $61 million spent in 1997 -- according to the distributor's annual report.
at $30 million encompassed four new stores and 73 renovations or expansions for a pickup of about 3% in retail floor space, the report said.
According to the report, the company focused on retail investment last year "to continue firming up its market share."
Metro-Richelieu operates 33 Super C stores, which average 47,600 square feet; it also franchises 295 Metro supermarkets averaging 16,400 square feet and 192 Marche Richelieu neighborhood stores of approximately 5,000 square feet each.
The company also said it intends to implement a new integrated management software system this year "[that] should significantly improve our operating efficiency on a companywide basis." The system's applications package combines functions specific to distribution and retail operations as well as best practices, the company said. "Implementation of the SAP R/3 program will significantly increase our operating flexibility while fostering better integration between the wholesale divisions and the retailers," the annual report said. The report said the software installation will be completed in 1999.