Whole Foods To Acquire Harry's
s Market here said last week it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire most of the assets of Harry's Farmers' Markets, Roswell, Ga. For approximately $35 million in cash, Whole Foods said it will acquire Harry's three Atlanta-area perishables superstores, the Harry's Farmers' Market name, distribution center, commissary kitchen, bakehouse and office facilities. Six small-format "Harry's in a Hurry" food stores, all in the Atlanta area, are not included in the transaction, which Whole Foods said it expects will close in November.
Supervalu Faces E. Coli Suit
MINNEAPOLIS -- The parents of a 3-year-old girl who became severely ill late last year after eating E. coli-contaminated ground beef filed suit last week against Supervalu here and its Cub Foods subsidiary. The meat was purchased at a Cub Food store, according to William Marler, the Seattle-based attorney representing the parents, who said the girl's medical expenses have so far amounted to $220,000. Supervalu called the situation a "very tragic incident" and said the family "should be properly compensated for their injuries." However, the company added, a study of last year's E. coli outbreak issued in June by the Minnesota Department of Health "identified American Foods Group [Supervalu's Green Bay, Wis.-based supplier] as the source of the contaminated product. It's time for the AFG to step forward and meet their obligations." Marler told SN that lawyers representing AFG had written him that the company would pay for the child's medical expenses, but the lawyer maintained that Supervalu should still take some responsibility for selling the meat that caused for the outbreak.
Peapod Expands DC Service
CHICAGO -- Online grocer Peapod here said last week it will expand its Peapod By Giant service in the District of Columbia area to include northeast and southeast Washington and northeastern Prince George's County, Md. Marc van Gelder, Peapod president and chief executive officer, said the company is looking to fill the void left when its principal competitor, Homeruns.com, ceased operations last month. Deliveries to northeast Washington began last week, with the rest of the expansion rolling out in stages through mid-September. All Peapod By Giant grocery orders will continue to be picked, packed and delivered from a centralized fulfillment center in Gaithersburg, Md. operated by Giant Food, Landover, Md., an Ahold operating company. In other news, Ahold, Peapod's majority stockholder, had its efforts to buy all outstanding shares of the Internet merchant at least temporarily frustrated by a stockholder who filed a lawsuit to block the purchase, arguing in court papers that Ahold's asking price was too low.
Wal-Mart To Open 2nd Houston Market
BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores here said it will open its second Neighborhood Market in Houston Sept. 5, following the opening last week of its first store there. The first Houston store is a 43,000-square-foot unit in the Spring Branch area of the city, across the street from an Albertson's and a couple of blocks from a Kroger Signature location. It is Wal-Mart's 24th Neighborhood Market. After opening a second Houston store next month, the company said it plans three more Neighborhood Markets in Houston early next year, with a total of 10 to 15 stores expected to open there over the next few years. Wal-Mart has opened five Neighborhood Markets in the Southwest since February, with plans for 10 to 15 more before its fiscal year ends Jan. 31, a spokesman told SN.
Store Manager Hurt In Chase
RIVERHEAD, N.Y. -- The manager of a King Kullen supermarket here was hit by a truck while attempting to apprehend a suspected shoplifter, the company said. Richard Gregory, 38, chased the suspected shoplifter out of the store's parking lot and into the street, where Gregory was struck by a truck. No charges were brought against the driver, but Gregory suffered a broken arm, leg and hip. "Everyone at King Kullen hopes that Richard regains his health as quickly as possible. Our thoughts and prayers are with him for a speedy recovery," said Brian C. Cullen, co-president, King Kullen Grocery Co., Bethpage, N.Y.
NY Banquet To Honor Leaders
ALBANY, N.Y. -- The Food Industry Alliance of New York State here said 25 chain, independent and wholesale grocery leaders -- representing more than $45 billion in sales -- will be recognized during its 2001 leadership banquet, scheduled for Oct. 4 at the Rye Town Hilton, Rye Brook, N.Y. An attendance of more than 700 is expected to greet the leaders and hear the keynote address from Pete Hamill, reporter, former editor-in-chief of the New York Post and currently a columnist for the New York Daily News. According to Jim Rogers, FIA president, "Our annual leadership banquet captures the essence of FIA's two most important responsibilities -- government relations and trade relations." FIA initiated the annual leadership banquet in 1998.