SAN FRANCISCO — The Environmental Protection Agency here fined Safeway $675,000 for allegedly selling unregistered household cleaning products with misleading labels. The items included toilet bowl cleaners claiming to “disinfect” and liquid cleanser claiming to “remove mold and mildew.” Federal law requires such products making such claims to be registered as pesticides, the EPA said. The products were sold at a Vons store in California and a Safeway store in Hawaii.
ST. LOUIS — Desco Group, the real estate company controlled by the Schnuck family, is selling a 73% interest in a portfolio of 33 shopping centers anchored by a Schnuck's grocery store, the retailer here said. Australia-based Macquarie CountryWide is buying approximately 60% of the properties; Regency Centers, Jacksonville, Fla., is acquiring a 13% stake, in a deal worth around $400 million, the companies said. Desco will retain 27% ownership and will continue to manage and lease the properties. The portfolio includes shopping centers in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Tennessee. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter.
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Stock in Sears Holdings fell by more than 10% last week after the retailer said that comparable-store sales at its Sears and Kmart stores were down by 4% and 3.9%, respectively, for the first nine weeks of its fiscal second quarter. The sluggish performance — which Sears said could lead to quarterly profits dropping by 46%, excluding extraordinary items — “underscores our need to become more relevant to consumers while improving our discipline around expense management,” Aylwin Lewis, chief executive officer, said in a statement.
DETROIT — A&P has closed 21 of its 66 Farmer Jack locations after failing to find buyers, according to local reports. As previously reported by SN, Kroger has acquired 20 locations. Independents have bought another 25 sites, according to a report in the Detroit Free Press. A&P previously had said it would continue to seek buyers for the stores.
NEW YORK — The online grocery delivery service FreshDirect here marked its fifth anniversary last week by deeply discounting several of its “President's Picks” weekly sales items and selling a six-month “unlimited delivery pass” for $55.55 (down from $99). Among the sale items are USDA Choice bone-in rib steak, wild snapper fillet, goat cheese ravioli, wild shrimp, organic Colombian coffee and other items at $5.55 per pound.
CHICAGO — IGA here last week said it will partner with amusement park operator Busch Gardens as part of this year's annual children-focused summer marketing event. The event, IGA Hometown KidsFest, will take place July 29-Aug. 11. IGA stores will offer savings on certain products and offer an in-store “treasure hunt” to familiarize kids with products.
ARLINGTON, Va. — Food Marketing Institute here said last week that the 2008 FMI Show in Las Vegas will begin a day earlier than previously planned, on Sunday, May 4. A keynote speaker has been scheduled for 4 p.m., and some afternoon educational sessions are planned, beginning at 2 p.m. Previously FMI had said the show would take place Monday through Wednesday, May 5-7, at the request of members.