Certified Grocers Midwest,
t week it will remain a secondary supplier for Hilander Foods, Rockford, Ill. -- the five-store chain acquired last fall by Kroger Co., Cincinnati. James E. Bradley, president and chief executive officer, Certified Midwest, said Kroger is in the process of converting distribution at the five stores to its own facilities and expects to complete the process by early May. Hilander's sales volume is estimated at $88 million, though it was not clear last week how much of that translates to Certified Midwest's wholesale volume. Bradley declined to pinpoint the volume Certified will lose, noting that it will retain some of that volume as the stores' secondary supplier and will also make up virtually all of the remaining volume with the addition of several new customers in the next few weeks. Certified Midwest has been Hilander's primary supplier for more than 20 years, Bradley said. A Kroger spokeswoman had no comment on the issue.
COST-U-LESS, INC., Bellevue, Wa., has opened a retail location in Curacao, Netherlands Antilles, its largest store overall. Cost-U-Less is also set to begin construction on a retail location in St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles, its 12th store overall. The Curacao and St. Maarten stores will be Cost-U-Less' third and fourth foreign location outside of U.S. territories, respectively, and its first stores in the Caribbean. The company is a leading operator of mid-sized warehouse club- style stores.
Raley's Supermarkets, West Sacramento, Calif., said it has raised more than $1 million in 1998 for Food For Families -- a nonprofit program designed to help feed the hungry that was started by chain officials in 1986. The program takes contributions in the form of cash at its stores' checkstands; the contributions are donated to local food banks to help them purchase products at the chain's cost. The program also accepts dry groceries collected at community functions, which are distributed by the food banks to their clients. Raley's said that since 1986 the program has raised more than $7 million in cash and donated more than 3 million pounds of dry groceries to local food banks.
EXITO, Medellin, Colombia, has acquired rival supermarket chain Cadenalco, Bogota, for $43 million, the company said. The combined company controls about half of Colombia's $2.5 billion retail food market, according to one published report. Exito currently operates supermarkets in Bogota, Cali and Medellin -- Colombia's three largest cities.
REASOR'S, Tahlequah, Okla., has signed a letter of intent to acquire six Price Mart stores in the Tulsa metro area, the company said. Reasor's currently operates seven large-format food stores in northeastern Oklahoma. The company said it expects to close the deal this month and that all the acquired stores would be remodeled.
SAVE-A-LOT LTD., St. Louis, has completed a new $7.4 million, 128,000-square-foot corporate headquarters at Corporate Woods Office Park in Earth City, Mo., the company said. The building replaces a 53,000-square-foot office facility that Save-A-Lot leased in Vinita Park. The company currently employs approximately 225 people. It expects to employ more than 350 by 2003.
MERKET AMERICAN CORP., Canton, Mass., has signed a letter of intent to acquire three food-brokerage companies, Merket, a food broker, said. The company said it is acquiring Buckeye Sales & Marketing and Smith, Weber, Boos -- both Cleveland-based -- and Grand Rapids, Mich.-based United Brokerage Cos.
THE FOOD MARKETING INSTITUTE, Washington, said participants in its Midwinter Executive Conference raised $75,000 in the Food Industry Crusade Against Hunger Golf Invitational held at the Magnolia PGA Golf course in Orlando, Fla., where the conference was held.
SOUTHLAND CORP., Dallas, announced the filing of a preliminary proxy statement that includes a proposal to authorize changing the company's name to 7-Eleven Inc. Southland Corp. franchises or operates more than 5,600 7-Eleven and other convenience stores in the United States and Canada.