VENDORS OBJECT TO FLEMING REORGANIZATION PLAN
f Fleming Cos. at a hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court here last week opposed the company's plan to reorganize as a convenience-store distributor, according to published reports. The reports noted that the vendors said they had $240 million worth of goods on Fleming's shelves when the company filed for Chapter 11 in April, and under Fleming's reorganization plan, which calls for the company to continue operating Core-Mark International, the San Francisco-based c-store distributor it acquired in 2002, they would receive no cash, while they would collect money from Fleming if Core-Mark were sold. The reports said Fleming and its creditors are scheduled to return to court here Feb. 17 when the company will submit for court approval a new debtor-in-possession loan.
SPARTAN TO COMBINE FIVE BANNERS INTO TWO
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Spartan Stores here said last week it is planning to consolidate its five store banners down to two. The company said it would change the names of its six Ashcraft's Markets, three Great Day Food Centers and eight Prevo's Family Markets to either of its two most popular banners, Family Fare Supermarkets or Glen's Markets. Spartan currently operates 13 Family Fare stores and 23 Glen's Markets. "The retail store name changes will create a stronger retail store-brand identity with consumers and make our retail marketing efforts more effective and efficient," said Craig Sturken, Spartan's chairman, president and chief executive officer.
SCHNUCKS PLANS FIRST IOWA STORE IN QUAD CITIES AREA
ST. LOUIS -- Schnuck Markets here said it plans to build a 63,000-square-foot combination food and drug store in Bettendorf, Iowa, its first in the state and its first in the Quad Cities market. The company also said it had decided not to build a store on property it owns in another Quad Cities locale, Davenport, Iowa. Gordon Lyons, Schnucks' vice president of supermarket development, said although some Schnucks stores are competing well against Wal-Mart supercenters, the company did not believe it would be a good business decision to build a new store only one mile from a new supercenter.
ACOSTA SUBSIDIARY TO BUY NATURAL FOODS MARKETER
DENVER -- Natural/Specialty Sales here, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Acosta, Jacksonville, Fla., said last week it has entered into a letter of intent with Tree of Life, St. Augustine, Fla., to acquire the assets of its subsidiary Specialty Partners, a specialty and natural food sales and marketing company. Jamie Gronowski, president, Natural/Specialty Sales, said the acquisition will help the company continue to build its business in the Northeast, Midwest and Southeast. Richard Thorne, chairman and chief executive officer, Tree of Life, said his company had decided to sell its subsidiary because "the brokerage activities of Specialties Partners were not core to our future business." Tree of Life is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Netherlands-based Wessanen.
STATER BROS. CONTEMPLATES RELOCATING FACILITIES
COLTON, Calif. -- Stater Bros. Markets here is reportedly seeking to consolidate its facilities into a single location -- a step that could prompt it to move out of this community where it's been based for 40 years. Chain officials could not be reached for comment last week, but local media said the company hopes to consolidate its offices and eight distribution centers into one location. Reports said the company could not expand here because of the presence of the Delhi sand fly, which is protected under the federal Endangered Species Act. Stater will reportedly announce the new location within two months, with construction expected to take two years.