TESCO EYES UP TO 300 U.S. STORES IN 5 YEARS
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Tesco USA here said last week it is considering opening as many as 300 small grocery stores in Southern California, Las Vegas and Phoenix over a five-year period, at an investment level approaching $2 billion. The company previously had said it planned to spend about $435 million per year to open an unspecified number of stores in those markets. Tim Mason, chief executive officer of Tesco USA, said the company expects to open stores in underserved urban areas, according to reports. Stores will be 15,000 square feet, with approximately 10,000 square feet of selling space, he told reporters. He said the first stores are scheduled to open in the second half of 2007, with the opening pace accelerating at Tesco gets its distribution network operational. The London-based company has already begun work on a 1.4 million-square-foot distribution center in Riverside, Calif., and has plans to open a DC in Phoenix.
AHOLD TO SELL POLISH OPERATIONS TO CARREFOUR
AMSTERDAM — Ahold here said Monday that it has reached an agreement to sell its 198-store retail division in Poland to Carrefour, Paris, for about $500 million in cash and assumed debt. The deal includes 179 supermarkets under the Albert banner, 15 hypermarkets trading under the Hypernova banner and four gas stations. The deal is expected to be finalized in the first half of 2007. Ahold announced it would sell its Polish stores last month.
VILLAGE POSTS 42% PROFIT GROWTH IN 1ST QUARTER
SPRINGFIELD, N.J. — A 3.6% sales increase and improved profit percentages helped boost net income 42% to $4.2 million during the fiscal first quarter that ended Oct. 28 for Village Super Market here, the retailer said last week. Sales of $251.5 million increased by 3.6%, and same-store sales also increased by 3.6%. Newly remodeled stores contributed to the sales increase. Sales were offset partially by reduced revenues in one store due to a competitive opening. Village, a member of the Wakefern Food Corp. cooperative, operates 23 stores under the ShopRite banner in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
ALBERTSONS LLC PLANS TO SHUTTER 5 TEXAS STORES
BOISE, Idaho — Albertsons LLC will close five stores in Texas — four in the Dallas-Fort Worth market and a fifth in Longview — that the company said were unprofitable. The Dallas area stores, located in the Colony, Mansfield, North Richland Hills and Oak Cliff neighborhoods, as well as the site in Longview, are closures in addition to the previously announced stores set for sale or closure by Albertsons LLC, which purchased them in the Albertsons breakup earlier this year. “We put good store teams on them in the last six months but they still were not profitable,” Albertsons LLC spokeswoman Jennifer Vroman told SN.
COURT DENIES WAL-MART APPEAL IN QUEBEC CASE
BENTONVILLE, Ark. — A provincial appeals court in Montreal last week refused to hear an appeal by Wal-Mart over the union certification of its discount store Gatineau, Quebec, published reports said. Wal-Mart asked the court to force provincial labor authorities to conduct a secret ballot of employees at the store, which was certified last year after between 35% and 50% of its workers at the store signed union cards. A union vote was canceled when the local withdrew its request, but another union local submitted its request for accreditation the following day, according to the Canadian Press report. Wal-Mart objected to the legality of the withdrawal, the report added.