last week said net income for the third quarter more than doubled to $5.1 million, vs. net income of $2.52 million in the year-ago third quarter. Sales for the quarter, which ended July 1, were up 1.5%, to $726.4 million. Through the first 39 weeks of the fiscal year, net income rose 74.7%, to $14.9 million, while sales were up 2.1%, to $2.19 billion. The cooperative wholesaler attributed the quarterly gains to new stores opened by members, sales growth in perishables and specialty products, and benefits from workers' compensation reform in California. "We expect a strong year-end performance," said Al Plamann, president and chief executive officer, in a prepared statement, adding that he believes the company is "well-positioned for a strong 2007 as well."
LANDOVER, Md. - Giant Food here said it open six new or replacement stores during the balance of 2006, and it will also shutter seven additional "smaller, outdated stores for which new investment was not an alternative." The chain opened its first new Super Giant prototype in the Baltimore-Washington area last week in Dunkirk, Md., and it has additional new stores planned for Bowie, Chevy Chase and Urbana, Md., and Haymarket and Ryan Park, Va. The closures are slated for Salisbury (two stores), Bowie, Edgewood, and Wilde Lake-Columbia, Md., and McLean and Annandale, Va. The chain, owned by Amsterdam-based Ahold, also said it would remodel six stores.
POMPANO BEACH, Fla. - Associated Grocers of Florida has seen productivity increase 20% over the last three weeks since it moved from a distribution center in Miami into a new facility here, Cal Miller, president and chief executive officer, told SN last week. The 800,000-square-foot facility is nearly twice the size of AG's former building, which it had used for 16 years. Miller said volume has climbed 200% over the last few years following the demise of Fleming in 2003 and the addition of other new accounts, which made the Miami warehouse inadequate for its needs.
SEATTLE - The U.S. Bankruptcy Court here approved the sale last week of three Larry's Markets to a pair of buyers after another buyer withdrew its offer. Metropolitan Market, a locally based chain of upscale stores, will acquire one of the six Larry's stores, and TRF Capital, the landlord at one of the other stores, acquired two stores. The selling price for a combined bids totaled approximately $6.2 million. Regarding Larry's three remaining stores, the company said in court it had reached an agreement in principle with separate buyers for two of the stores, with an oral agreement with one of those buyers to acquire the remaining store. The sale of the stores to a variety of buyers occurred after LM Acquisitions - a company that included Michael Teel, former president of Raley's Supermarkets, Sacramento, Calif. - withdrew from the process after bidding $5.5 million earlier this month to acquire five of the six stores.
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - One of the four defendants accused of defrauding Associated Wholesale Grocers here last week pleaded guilty to four counts of money laundering and could face up to 80 years in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney here. Arlene Francis in her plea admitted that AWG paid more than $650,000 in fraudulent invoices for goods it never received. She was one of four defendants charged last month in the scheme, which took place between 2002 and 2004. Sentencing is set for Nov. 13. Francis faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine up to $50,000 for each count. Trials for the other three defendants are pending.