WASHINGTON — Dealing a blow to the hopes of Wal-Mart Stores, Bentonville, Ark., to operate a bank, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. voted here last week to extend its moratorium for a year on applications for deposit insurance and change-in-control notices for industrial loan companies that will be owned by commercial companies. This will allow Congress to consider legislation regulating ILCs. The moratorium does not apply to ILCs owned by financial companies, FDIC reported. There are now 61 ILCs, including ones owned by Target Corp., Minneapolis, and Nordstrom, Seattle. Opposition to Wal-Mart's bid has been increasing with bills in the Congress, as well as many state legislatures. Most seek to keep the retailer from opening bank branches, but Wal-Mart has said it wants the ILC to save money on processing credit and debit interchange fees.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Winn-Dixie has implemented a store-based realignment that eliminates some positions but creates new jobs in management and service, the retailer here said. The program, called “Building a Better Winn-Dixie,” allows the retailer to “improve customer service and better align responsibilities and duties within stores,” according to a statement provided to SN by Winn-Dixie spokeswoman Robin Miller. “This will allow our stores to run a better business and provide a better shopping experience for our customers. While some positions have been eliminated, the operational realignment has also created new management and service-related positions designed to better support our operational success.”
MINNEAPOLIS — Target Corp. here last week said it would build a perishable food distribution center in Lake City, Fla. Scheduled to open in late summer 2008, the facility would be Target's first company-owned perishables facility. It will run the unit in partnership with Supervalu, Target's primary food supplier. Target said the facility would provide frozen, refrigerated and fresh produce to stores throughout the Southeast.
CINCINNATI — Facing continued union opposition in its attempt to turn over control of its Mid-South warehouse to third parties, Kroger has shifted some distribution from a warehouse in Louisville, Ky., to a facility near its headquarters here, according to a report last week in the Louisville Courier-Journal. Kroger announced plans to transfer ownership and operation of its Mid-South distribution center in Louisville to third parties late last year but has encountered opposition from Teamsters, who argue the new managers could cost its members jobs and wages. The report said Kroger sent its warehouse employees a letter saying it has had tremendous difficulty providing timely service to stores in recent weeks. The report said the Cincinnati facility was providing dry-goods distribution for 23 stores previously serviced from Louisville. Officials of Kroger and Teamsters Local 89 did not return calls for comment.
BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Contrary to reports published last week, Eduardo Castro-Wright is not leaving his post as chief executive officer of the U.S. division of Wal-Mart Stores here, a spokeswoman for the chain told SN. Speaking at a meeting of store managers in Kansas City, Mo., last week, Castro-Wright said, “There was no truth to any of it, and it was inaccurate reporting on behalf of Advertising Age,” referring to a report by the magazine that he would be shifted to an international post and succeeded by Doug McMillon, the current CEO of the company's Sam's Club division. “There are no management changes beyond the ones we clearly outlined last week, and those were publicly disclosed,” the spokeswoman said Castro-Wright told store managers.