here earlier this month opened seven new Neighborhood Markets, including its first in Florida and Utah. The company, which now has about 50 of the food-and-drug combo stores, said it expects to open 20 to 25 new Neighborhood Markets in the fiscal year beginning Feb. 1. The 39,000-square-foot Oviedo, Fla., unit is expected to offer gasoline within the next few months, according to local reports, and is the first of two planned for the Orlando market. It is located across the street from a Publix Super Market. The West Valley City, Utah, store measures 40,000 square feet and is located across the street from a Smith's Food & Drug. Last week, Wal-Mart also opened a discount store in Crenshaw Hills, a largely African-American and Latino inner-city Los Angeles neighborhood. Occupying a former department store, the new Wal-Mart is the company's first three-story unit.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Marsh Supermarkets here said last week it reached an agreement to acquire the assets of two Mr. D's Fresh Food Markets. The financial terms of the transaction, which is expected to be completed by February, were not disclosed. The stores will operate under Marsh's O'Malia Food Markets division. "The addition of the two stores now gives us a presence on the south side of Indianapolis," said Don E. Marsh, chairman and chief executive officer, Marsh Supermarkets. Mr. D's Fresh Food Markets will continue to operate one store in Bloomington, Ind., company officials said. Also, Marsh Supermarkets said it would close one LoBill Foods store in Greenwood, Ind., by the end of February.
ELMWOOD PARK, N.J. -- Supermarket sales during December fell 1.5%, the largest decline since March 1998, according to a report released last week by the Food Institute here. If food price inflation is factored in, said Brian Todd, the Food Institute's president, sales fell 4.3% for the month. Overall in 2002, sales dropped 0.29%, compared with a 0.32% decline in 2001, according to the institute. Todd attributed this second consecutive year of declining sales to increased competition from other retail channels. "In most regions, discount chains and warehouse clubs recorded better results than supermarkets."
CLEVELAND -- Charter One Financial here reportedly said earlier this month it plans to add 139 branches over the next two years, most of them in supermarkets. Currently, the bank operates 50 in-store branches, according to an article in The American Banker. In November, the article said, Charter One signed a $146 million agreement with Tops Markets, Buffalo, N.Y., an Ahold operating company, to open 34 supermarket branches in northern Ohio and western New York.