Webvan here reportedly put up for auction $2 million in industrial kitchen equipment at its Seattle and Oakland warehouses last month, and is looking to sublease its Seattle warehouse. The items were part of the company's never-realized plan to offer customers prepared foods, according to the Seattle Times. Webvan has not released any information regarding the outcome of the May 22 (Seattle) and May 30 (Oakland) auctions and could not be reached for comment.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Meijer here is reportedly planning to cut back its staff of 2,800 office workers by 15% to 18%. A memo outlining the plan was circulated last month to Meijer employees, according to a story by the Associated Press, although the memo did not specify how many jobs would be lost. The AP said the layoffs, which will not affect store workers, came as the result of declining sales. Meijer could not be reached for comment.
SHEBOYGAN, Wis. -- Schultz Sav-O Stores here said last week that it will start trading today on the Nasdaq National Market under the FRSH symbol. Schultz said the move follows last week's approval by shareholders of the company's plan to create a holding company, Fresh Brands, with each shareholder receiving one share of Fresh Brands for every Schultz share owned. Elwood F. Winn, Fresh Brands president and chief executive officer, said the holding company will better enable the company to operate differently branded stores, such as its current Piggly Wiggly units and the Dick's Supermarkets units that Fresh Brands is acquiring in a deal Winn said should close in a few weeks.
DALLAS -- Marketing Specialists here said last week it has reached a tentative agreement to consolidate its business into Acosta Sales and Marketing Co., Jacksonville, Fla. The move came less than a week after Marketing Specialists filed a voluntary petition for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Under the tentative agreement, which must still be approved by the bankruptcy court, Acosta said it will not assume any of Marketing Specialists' debt. Marketing Specialists said creditors must pursue recovery through the court.
SAN ANTONIO -- H.E. Butt Grocery Co. here said it plans to open three more units of its fresh-store format, Central Market, over the next few months, following the opening of its fourth location last week in Houston. The company said it will open 70,000-square-foot Central Markets in Fort Worth in late August or early September; in Plano, Texas, late in the year, and in Dallas early in 2002. With three existing stores -- one here and two in Austin -- "We're testing the waters to see how things go, though we haven't settled on how many we'll ultimately open or where they will be," a spokeswoman told SN. The Houston store replaces the cafe in two of the first three locations with a larger prepared foods case and an expanded seating area; a drive-through takeout window will open later this month, she added. The store also features the format's first chocolatier.