MINNEAPOLIS -- Retail operations will be the major focus of growth at Nash Finch Co. here, the distributor's top executive said.
er, told securities analysts during a conference call. "Retail was the primary driver of net earnings in the first quarter, which demonstrates the potential that retail holds for the company's future."
Nash Finch is scheduled to hold its annual meeting tomorrow.
According to Marshall, the company's plans for its retail operations include the following:
Opening two more Hispanic-oriented Warehouse Food Outlets -- at a former Hinky Dinky unit in Omaha, Neb., later this month and at a former Econofoods in Muscatine, Iowa, in June. The first WFO store, which opened last year in Greeley, Colo., "has proven successful to date and may offer additional growth opportunities going forward."
Reopening 11 Hinky Dinky stores in Nebraska under the SunMart banner later this month. The company acquired the 12-store Hinky Dinky chain, based in Omaha, Neb., in January.
Adding the SunMart name to 26 corporate-owned IGA stores in North and South Carolina, to operate as SunMart IGA.
Converting 17 of the 18 Erickson's stores in Wisconsin and Minnesota to the Econofoods banner in June. Nash Finch acquired 18 Erickson's stores in mid-1999; the 18th store, in North Dakota, has already been converted to the SunMart banner.
Reopening two acquired independent stores in Minnesota as Econofoods.
Opening a new Buy n Save limited-assortment store in June in Minnesota, with five to 10 additional sites targeted to open under the Buy n Save banner later this year. Nash Finch currently operates three Buy n Save units in Minnesota.
Opening four new stores this year -- two in Iowa this month and in June, and single units in Wisconsin and Minnesota in November -- and completing 13 major remodels.