TIDYMAN'S TO OPEN SAVE-A-LOTS IN WASHINGTON
t plans to open between three and six Save-A-Lot stores in eastern Washington over the next 18 months. The move follows the closing earlier this month of two stores in Montana -- the final step in eliminating unprofitable stores, the company said. The closures of seven stores over the last three years, including six since June, have enabled Tidyman's to reduce its debt and consolidate its resources in areas where it has a stronger market share, the company added. Tidyman's operates 14 stores in Washington, Idaho and Montana under three banners: seven Tidyman's, six County Markets and a single IGA store. It will license the Save-A-Lot format from its supplier, Minneapolis-based Supervalu, which owns 40% of Tidyman's.
UNITED NATURAL ACQUIRES ORGANIC WHOLESALER
DAYVILLE, Conn. -- United Natural Foods here last week said its subsidiary, Albert's Organics, has completed the purchase of Roots & Fruits, a Minnesota-based wholesale distributor of organic produce and perishables. Terms were not disclosed. Roots & Fruits has annual revenues of around $20 million, United said. Also last week, United said that it expected to generate sales of $2.25 billion to $2.35 billion during the fiscal year ending July 31, 2006, an increase of between 10% and 15%. It expects earnings of $1.14 to $1.19 per share during the year, an increase of 15% to 20%; and said it expected to do $30 million to $35 million in capital spending during the fiscal year.
CALIF. INVESTIGATES KROGER CHAINS' GRAPE CLAIMS
LOS ANGELES -- In response to complaints from state farmers, the California Department of Food and Agriculture has launched a formal review to see if Ralphs or Food 4 Less has violated the state's "California Grown" marketing campaign by mislabeling Mexican grapes as coming from California farms. Fines as high as $3,000 per every mislabeled bag of fruit sold could be levied if the inquiry results in prosecution by the state's attorney general. In published reports, Terry O'Neil, spokesman for Ralphs, acknowledged the error, which involved ads in circulars, mailed on June 29 by Food 4 Less and July 6 by Ralphs. O'Neil described the incidents as honest mistakes, quickly corrected by each of the Kroger divisions' separate marketing staffs.
ADVANTAGE ACQUIRES SOUTHWEST BROKERAGE
IRVINE, Calif. -- Advantage Sales and Marketing here said it has acquired S.W.B. Inc., doing business as Southwest Brokerage, Austin, Texas, a sales and marketing agency specializing in natural and organic foods. Advantage said the acquisition will enable it to provide a national sales solution to manufacturers of natural and specialty foods and strengthen its presence in the Southwest.
WAL-MART FILES $5 BILLION DEBT OFFERING
BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores here may seek to sell up to $5 billion in debt securities, the company said in a registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The retailer said it would use the funds to repay short- and long-term debt; finance acquisitions; and for general corporate purposes. The company may sell the securities in separate offerings, with prices and terms set at the time of the sale.
WEIS ISSUES 28-CENT QUARTERLY DIVIDEND
SUNBURY, Pa. -- Weis Markets here last week said it would issue a dividend of 28 cents per share for all shareholders of record as of Aug. 5. The dividend is payable Aug. 19. Weis operates 157 supermarkets stores in five states.