ed its first Hispanic-themed store last week, called Publix Sabor, in this suburb of Orlando, where nearly half of the population is Latino. The 39,000-square-foot store replaced a Publix that was closed and gutted this February, and revamped with a multicolored logo; bilingual aisle signs, marketing and product labels; plus 50 different Hispanic deli offerings and expanded Hispanic offerings in all departments, including produce and dairy. New for Publix in the central Florida area, Publix Sabor also features a cafe, offering pressed Cuban sandwiches, cafe con leche and Hispanic desserts. Despite the extra Hispanic offerings, Publix officials are getting the word out that the store is for all of their shoppers. "You don't have to be a Hispanic customer to love this store," said Maria Brous, director of media and community relations, on opening day. A store in Hialeah, Fla., will also be converted to the Publix Sabor format, but officials have not released a date for that opening.
CINCINNATI -- Kroger here said a change in accounting reduced the goodwill charge it took on its Ralphs division by $27 million and lowered its fourth-quarter loss by 4 cents a share. Kroger said the changes were the result of an audit adjustment related to deferred income taxes at Ralphs. Goodwill changed to $857 million from $884 million as initially reported last month, changing Kroger's quarterly loss to $648.3 million, or 89 cents a share, rather than 93 cents a share as initially reported. "The company determined it did not maintain effective controls over the determination of deferred income-tax balances related to a business combination. This constitutes a material weakness under Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act," Kroger said in a statement.
CLIFTON, N.J. -- A union local representing 28,000 grocery workers in New Jersey and New York has reached a tentative deal with employers, the union said. United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1262 here said the agreement with retailers Pathmark, ShopRite, Foodtown and Stop & Shop maintains its members' health benefits with no premium contribution; provides a "major increase" in pension contributions; and allows members who are called to military duty to maintain health benefits. Ratification votes were held last week, but results were not announced.
MILWAUKEE -- Roundy's here last week said it has signed an agreement to purchase seven Pick 'n Save Stores in the Madison, Wis., area from Gary Gundlach, one of its licensees. The sale, which is expected to be completed within 30 to 60 days, will boost the number of Roundy's corporate stores from 125 to 132.
AUBURN, Wash. -- Safeway held grand-opening ceremonies for its new distribution center here last week. The $175 million, 116-acre facility encompasses a 538,000-square-foot dry goods warehouse and a 515,000-square-foot refrigerated warehouse. Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway said the facility will create 200 new jobs.
CHICAGO -- Information Resources Inc. here last week said it has acquired the outstanding ownership of Mosaic InfoForce, a supplier of in-store audits. The purchase price was not disclosed. Mosaic, also based here, provides and collects measurements of perimeter merchandising, display, shelf and front-end conditions of stores across all classes of trade. IRI said it would integrate Mosaic into IRI's Content Operations Group, which will be renamed the IRI In-Store Solutions Group.