it would eliminate nearly 700 jobs at its U.S. Foodservice division, including 500 administrative positions, and close some facilities as part of its recently announced restructuring of the troubled division. Ahold said it would take charges of between $50 million and $60 million in its fiscal fourth quarter associated with the restructuring, which includes workforce reductions, asset impairments, lease expenses related to closing facilities, and termination of contractual obligations. Ahold in late November said it would reorganize Landover, Md.-based U.S. Foodservice into two divisions, and targeted $100 million in expense reductions in 2006 and 2007.
BISMARCK, N.D. - Miracle Mart, a five-store chain based here, has agreed to sell its stores to two independent operators, a spokesman for Miracle Mart told SN. Johanneson's Inc., Bemijdi, Minn., has agreed to purchase Miracle Mart's three stores located in Minot, N.D. Miracle Mart locations in Bismarck and Mandan, N.D., will be purchased by Grand Central of North Dakota, an affiliate of Central Market, Detroit Lakes, Minn.
UTICA, N.Y. - Union workers of three Tops Markets stores scheduled to be transformed to the Hannaford banner here are petitioning Hannaford to keep their jobs, published reports said. The Tops stores in Utica, Washington Mills and Clinton, N.Y., were sold by Tops last year to Hannaford, Scarborough, Maine, which will close the stores for three months for renovation and re-open them in May under the Hannaford banner. United Food and Commercial Workers Local One, based here, said its members have collected signatures from shoppers on petitions urging Hannaford to re-hire the workers.
MALVERN, Pa. - Storecast Holdings here, which provides merchandising services to food and drug retailers and manufacturers, is expected to announce today that it has acquired the Archway Merchandising Services business from AHL Service, Rogers, Minn. The combined entity will have more than 10,000 employee merchandisers covering more than 40,000 retail locations in the mass merchant, food and drug, dollar store and specialty channels. The combined companies will offer nationwide continuity merchandising service; resets, remodels and new store set-ups; point-of-purchase installation; and category management services. Storecast and Archway will continue to be managed by their respective executive teams.
AVALON, Calif. - Safeway has reached an agreement with the California attorney general's office to vacate one of its two Vons supermarkets here to settle charges that it was monopolizing the town's grocery business. Safeway, Pleasanton, Calif., had acquired a small independent in the town in 1999, giving the company the only two supermarkets on Catalina Island. A spokesman for the AG's office said the settlement calls for the landlord of the property where the acquired store is located to seek a new tenant for the space. In the settlement, Vons denied any violations of the law.
BRUSSELS, Belgium - Delhaize here reduced prices on around 1,000 products at its stores here last week amid heavy competition from discount and hypermarket operators, reports said. The cuts accompanied a new advertising campaign at its Belgian stores promoting lower-priced goods. Delhaize's supermarkets face competition from hard discounters Aldi, Lidl and Colryut.