Fleming Converts Sentry to Rainbow
is converting 10 Sentry Markets in the Milwaukee area to the Rainbow Foods banner over the next few months. Four stores were converted late last month, with six more scheduled for conversion later this year and early in 2002, a company said. It said it lowered more than 16,000 prices at the Milwaukee-area Rainbow Foods stores as part of the conversion. Fleming announced earlier this year it would open stores in Milwaukee under the Fresh for Less banner; however, a spokesman told SN that phrase will be used now only to describe what consumers will find in the former Sentry stores. Fleming operates six price-impact stores under the Rainbow name in New Mexico and Texas, including a newly built Rainbow Food & Fuel that opened last week in Amarillo, Texas; it also operates 44 Rainbow stores in the Minneapolis area. In a separate development, Fleming here said it has initiated service from a 540,000-square-foot distribution center in South Brunswick, N.J., that opened Sept. 16. The company said the facility is slated to handle $600 million per year in annual dry grocery volume, although long term, it has an engineered capacity of more than double that volume. Adjacent facilities and parcels will allow for continued future growth and the addition of other categories, such as frozen foods and produce, Fleming officials said.
Wal-Mart Eyes Japanese Chain: Report
BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores is reportedly in talks with MYCAL Corp., a reorganizing national chain here, but the negotiation has not been completed, according to MYCAL. A local press report said MYCAL had accepted a takeover offer by the giant American retailer, but MYCAL denied the report in a statement. On Sept. 14, MYCAL, Japan's fourth-largest national chain, filed the Civil Reorganization Law, the Japanese equivalent of the U.S.'s Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Total debt in the group amounted to $14.5 billion (dollar figures are converted from yen at the current exchange rate) or the second-biggest retail bankruptcy, after Sogo, since World War II. According to the statement by MYCAL, the firm "selected Daiwa Securities SMBC as the financial adviser, but we are in the process of deciding a sponsor for restructuring through bidding." Wal-Mart declined to comment.
Albertson's Buys Three Cub Stores
BOISE, Idaho -- Albertson's here said it has agreed to purchase three Cub Foods stores in Colorado Springs, Colo., operated by Food Mark, also Colorado Springs. The addition of these three stores will increase the company's store count in the city to eight as well as its market share in the area to 17%. Albertson's said that all associates will be offered the opportunity to apply for employment with the company and will be offered a comparable position pending the completion of a successful application process.
C&S Considering Moving Offices
BRATTLEBORO, Vt. -- C&S Wholesalers here told SN last week the company is considering moving its corporate offices. "There has been no decision yet," Carl Wistreich, company spokesman, said. "But if we move, it will either be to Keene, N.H., or to another facility in Brattleboro." Wistreich also said only the corporate staff would be moving, and the distribution center would remain in its present location.