Urban Wal-Mart Has Largest Grocery Section
week opened a discount store in downtown White Plains, N.Y., featuring the chain's largest grocery section outside of a supercenter. The section includes 16 aisles of canned goods, dairy, frozen foods and produce - the only Wal-Mart store that's not a supercenter with fresh produce, according to a store spokesman. The 180,000-square-foot store - located in a former Sears location - is one of only about 12 Wal-Marts in a truly urban setting, the company noted. "This is the store [Wal-Mart executives] are hoping to show people as an example of a store that can work in [nearby] New York City," store manager Calvin Lechliter said. The two-story store, which locates groceries and hard goods on the lower level, features more upscale merchandise than the average Wal-Mart, with an emphasis on fashion goods and jewelry.
Winn-Dixie Ticker Symbol Goes to Telecom
NEW YORK - WIN, the New York Stock Exchange ticker symbol that for more than 50 years represented retailer Winn-Dixie Stores and the dividends it was once famous for, last week became the symbol for Windstream, a new telephone company spun off from Alltel. Winn-Dixie, Jacksonville, Fla., was delisted from the NYSE when it declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year. A company spokesman told SN that Winn-Dixie intends for its new stock to trade publicly following emergence from bankruptcy, but is still evaluating the exchange it would trade on and on a new symbol. In an operating report filed last week, Winn-Dixie reported net earnings of $24 million on sales of $543 million for the four weeks ending June 28. Gross profit as a percent of sales was 27%. Net earnings from continuing operations was $18 million, boosted by $5 million generated by the sale of closed stores.
Spartan to Build New D&W, Family Fare Stores
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Spartan Stores here is expected to be an anchor tenant in two new Michigan shopping centers, including building the first new D&W Food Centers location since acquiring the company earlier this year, reports said. Spartan will build a 48,000-square-foot D&W Fresh Market store at the proposed Village of Orchard Hills lifestyle center here, and a Family Fare store will anchor a mixed-use center in Plainfield Township, according to the Grand Rapids Press. The 48,000-square-foot Family Fare, which could open next year, would replace a 31,000-square-foot location nearby.
Couche-Tard to Make More Acquisitions: CEO
MONTREAL - Alain Bouchard, chief executive officer of Alimentation Couche-Tard here, predicted "a strong year on the acquisition side," adding that the convenience-store operator expects to announce some deals soon. Couche-Tard, which operates Circle K stores in the U.S., acquired around 100 stores during its 2005 fiscal year, which ended April 30. Last month, it closed on a 90-store purchase and announced plans to acquire another 24 stores.
Wal-Mart Wins Key Decision in Defamation Case
BENTONVILLE, Ark. - The fired Wal-Mart executive suing the retailer here for defamation and slander will have a more difficult case to prove after a judge ruled he was a "limited purpose public figure," reports said. Jared Bowen, fired last year for failing to disclose false invoices filed by former Wal-Mart executive Tom Coughlin, became a public figure by giving interviews and making public statements about the incident last year. This means Bowen would have to prove the retailer acted with malice rather than just negligence, when it fired him. Bowen's case alleges Wal-Mart called him a "liar, a thief and a fraud," after he maintained he ought to have been offered federal whistle-blower protection under the Sarbannes-Oxley Act.