Marsh to Buy Two-Store Chain
permarkets here said last week it has reached an agreement to purchase a majority of the assets of Carter's Supermarkets, a two-store operator based in Tipton, Ind. The Carter stores are located in Tipton and Elwood, in central Indiana. It is Marsh's second acquisition in less than a month, following the purchase of O'Malia Food Markets, an eight-store operator based in Carmel, Ind., which is pending. Mike Carter, president of Carter's, said, "We feel good knowing [the 52-year-old company] is being passed to a very adept Indiana-based company."
Local 588, Stores Reach Accord
ROSEVILLE, Calif. -- United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 588 here said last week it has reach tentative agreement on a new, three-year collective bargaining agreement for its more than 10,000 members who work at northern California stores operated by Albertson's, Boise, Idaho, and Safeway, Pleasanton, Calif. The local said the new contract features wage increases in each year, a pension increase and the maintenance of health benefits.
Penn Traffic Workers Ratify Contract
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Penn Traffic Co. here said last week 4,000 union employees at 62 of the company's P&C Supermarkets have ratified a new three-year contact. "Penn Traffic and P&C are pleased that we have been able to come to an agreement that provides our employees in New York with an excellent package of wage and benefit enhancements," said Joseph V. Fisher, Penn Traffic president and chief executive officer. Previously, an initial offer was rejected by the workers, but the second offer was accepted nearly unanimously. "Our people are satisfied with this offer, which changed considerably from the first, inasmuch as their major concerns like safety and general welfare were addressed sufficiently," said Frank DeRiso, president of the Union of Food and Commercial Workers Union Local One, which represented the employees.
Sara Lee to Acquire Earthgrains
CHICAGO -- Sara Lee Corp. here said last week it has signed an agreement to acquire Earthgrains Co., St. Louis, for $2.8 billion. The transaction, which is expected to be completed in 30 to 60 days, would more than quadruple Sara Lee's annual bakery sales, the company said. During fiscal 2001, ended March 27, Earthgrains had sales of $2.6 billion. Sara Lee said it expects to realize several key benefits from the acquisitions, including Earthgrains' direct-store distribution systems, its leading position as a provider of private-label dough to supermarkets, its profitable international presence, its management team and its category management software.
Kmart Phasing Out Handgun Ammo
TROY, Mich. -- Kmart here said it is discontinuing the sale of handgun ammunition at all of its stores in the United States. The phaseout will be completed in the next 90 days, according to spokeswoman Julie Fracker. "It was a merchandising decision," Fracker told SN. "Firearm sales have been under review for quite some time, and we will still continue to offer a limited assortment of sporting firearms and respective ammunition, but all handgun ammunition will be phased out."
Alaska Locations Opened to Nonfood
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Nonfood retailers may now purchase and operate two empty stores in the area left vacant after Safeway, Pleasanton, Calif., purchased Carr-Gottstein Foods Co. here, according to published reports. Fearing Safeway would dominate the market, the state had previously ruled the stores must be operated by food retailers until April 2002. However, the court overturned the decision after the stores' owners, Northwest Retail Ventures here, said no buyer could be found, according to the report.
Webvan Approves Reverse Stock Split
FOSTER CITY, Calif. -- Webvan Group here said its shareholders have approved a 25-to-1 reverse stock split. The move is an effort by the company to maintain its listing on Nasdaq, which only lists stocks that maintain an average share price of $1 or more. Webvan said it has received a formal decision from the Nasdaq Listing Panel that the company will have until July 23 to implement the reverse stock split. In the interim, the stock will continue to be listed on the Nasdaq board. As of late last week, Webvan stock was trading at 7 cents a share.
Delhaize Chains Pull Chips
SALISBURY, N.C. -- Food Lion here and Kash n' Karry, Tampa, Fla., said last week they have removed from their shelves 11-ounce packages of their private-label white corn tortilla chips because they contained genetically modified corn not approved for human consumption. The presence of traces of Starlink, a genetically altered strain of corn, was discovered by the Food and Drug Administration, which tested the product at the request of a Florida consumer who had bought the chips at a Kash n' Karry store, according to the retailers. The two supermarket companies, both owned by the Belgium-based Delhaize Group, said they have asked Wise Foods, Atlanta, the manufacturer of the chips, to conduct an internal investigation of the matter.