Mark Hamstra

Supermarket News
Sprouts comps up 12.8%, but Whole Foods sinks stocks 
Shares of Sprouts Farmers Market, The Fresh Market and other specialty grocers tumbled Wednesday following a weaker-than-expected earnings report from Whole Foods Market, which some saw as a sign of increasing competition in the natural and organic space.
Supervalu leads Rainbow acquisition 
Supervalu, in partnership with four Twin Cities-area independent retailers, said Wednesday that the group has agreed to acquire 18 Rainbow Foods grocery stores from Milwaukee-based Roundy’s for about $65 million, plus inventory.
Supervalu seen back on track 
Investments in pricing, a shift toward decentralization, and efficiencies in wholesaling are beginning to pay dividends for the reconstituted Supervalu, analysts said.
The Growth List: Chains on the fast track  2
SN profiles 15 of the fastest-growing chains in food retailing, from Aldi to Walmart.
Gallery: Lunds new prepared-foods emporium
Lunds and Byerly’s Kitchen, a new foodservice-focused format in Wayzata, Minn., from Lunds Food Holdings, focuses on freshly prepared offerings.
Supervalu posts gains in comps, profits 
Supervalu said Wednesday that fourth-quarter identical-store sales were up 2.1% at Save-A-Lot and 0.2% at its more traditional supermarkets, helping drive net income of $26 million for the period.
Traditional retailers seen lacking in web functionality 
Traditional brick-and-mortar grocery stores should work to improve their customers’ online experiences, according to research conducted by ecommerce service provider Fluid.
Gallery: Mariano’s opens largest store yet
Mariano’s Fresh Market has opened an 80,000-square-foot, two-story supermarket in the Ravenswood area on Chicago’s North Side.
ACA strains contract bargaining, healthcare funds 
“Complex” healthcare components lead to protracted contract talks between food retailers and the UFCW.
Walmart sows its Wild Oats 
Walmart’s rollout of the Wild Oats brand as a lower-priced alternative to national brand organic offerings could impact traditional supermarket operators as they attempt to build up their own natural and organic product sets, analysts told SN.
FreshDirect offers best online experience: Report  1
New York-based FreshDirect was rated to provide the best customer experience in a study by e-commerce service provider Fluid and presented in a conference call on Internet grocery by Wells Fargo on Monday.
Local angles on the Wild Oats rollout  3
When Walmart unveiled plans to roll out Wild Oats-brand organic products, the retailer’s main message was that the products would be more affordable than national organic brands.
Gallery: Winn Dixie takes over Sweetbay 
Winn-Dixie said it expects to complete the rebranding of the Sweetbay stores it acquired from Delhaize Group by April 18.
Publix executes a careful expansion strategy 
Publix Super Markets only officially announced its plans to enter the Charlotte region two years ago, but its potentially market-changing entry had been expected for more than a decade.
Gallery: 6 food trends to watch
SN asked six food-industry experts to each select one emerging trend that they feel has the potential to drive sales gains at retail, and how retailers can best leverage those trends in their stores.
Penton Media Food Group and Related Sites

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