Ralphs Grocery Co., Compton, Calif., reported that it plans to open 14 new stores in the second half: 10 Ralphs and four Food 4 Less stores. It opened three new stores and divested or closed nine smaller units in the second quarter.
for comment last week. AWG serves retailers out of facilities in Kansas City, Oklahoma City and Springfield, Mo.
Stew Leonard's, Norwalk, Conn., has issued its first-ever circular and may do another, Stew Leonard Jr., president, chairman and chief executive officer of the two-store operator, told SN. About a half-million circulars were inserted in local newspapers earlier this month. Despite a strong customer response, Leonard said, "We're not big enough to do this every week. It's too expensive."
Hannaford Bros., Scarborough, Maine, plans to open nine stores and a 450,000-square-foot distribution center in Butner, N.C., in the second half, according to Hugh G. Farrington, president and chief executive officer. "We will continue to make significant investments in our Southeast markets in the third and fourth quarters of 1996," he noted. Hannaford also has hired a new advertising agency, Pedone & Partners, New York, which is expected to bolster promotion of the Hannaford brand and Hannaford stores in new markets.
In Japan, authorities last week continued their scramble to find the source of a food-poisoning outbreak that has affected more than 8,000 people, published reports said. Most cases are around the city of Sakai, near Osaka. Seven people have died from the deadly strain of E. coli bacteria, but scientists don't know yet what foods have spread it.
Docks de France, a French hypermarket and supermarket group, last week agreed to a sweetened takeover offer from Auchan, a rival French chain. The combined companies would create France's third-largest hypermarket and supermarket operator, with combined sales of about $22.2 billion. After criticizing Auchan's bid as being "hostile," Docks' board accepted an offer for $254 (1,270 francs) per share for the nearly 12 million shares in Docks that Auchan had not already acquired. The new price values the deal at roughly $3.8 billion (19 billion francs).