BRAINTREE, Mass. — In a new venture designed to take on warehouse clubs, Peapod and Stop & Shop said last week that they have opened a new facility here dedicated to extending their grocery delivery service to schools and businesses in the Boston area. “This is a high-growth-potential area of our business, and we believe we can offer a unique value proposition — supermarket selection at supermarket values — with no subscription or high minimum order requirements,” Andrew Parkinson, chief executive officer of Peapod, said in a statement. The new facility serves downtown Boston as well as Allston, Arlington, Belmont, Brighton, Brookline, Cambridge, Charlestown and Waltham. The website offers more than 4,000 products, including fresh produce, snacks, beverages, cleaning supplies and office supplies, as well as a range of catering options, officials said. Peapod, based in Chicago, and Stop & Shop, Quincy, Mass., are owned by Ahold, Amsterdam.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Spartan Stores here last week said it will close five Pharm discount drug stores and one convenience store by the end of the month. The five Pharm stores, all located in Ohio, generated annual sales of $30 million and recorded an operating loss of $400,000 during fiscal 2007, the company said. The ExpressMart convenience store, picked up in Spartan's recent Felpausch acquisition, is located in Mason, Mich. Spartan expects to record a pretax gain of $800,000 from the transfer of assets related to the drug store closings during its second quarter.
SAN FRANCISCO — An appeals court in the scrum over the Lucky banner controversy has affirmed a preliminary injunction in favor of Albertsons, lawyers for Albertsons said Monday. The ruling found that a U.S. District Court judge did not abuse his discretion in allowing Albertsons' claim for injunctive relief and denying Grocery Outlet's cross-claim for the same relief. Grocery Outlet, Berkeley, Calif., opted in 2005 to use the Lucky name on a single store in Rocklin, Calif., after its attorneys argued that Albertsons had abandoned the right to the name by not using it for six years. Albertsons has since sold its stores to Modesto, Calif.-based Save Mart, which is rebranding some locations as Lucky stores. The case now returns to the district judge, Jeffrey S. White, for further proceedings.
CARTERET, N.J. — Merger-related costs and expenses associated with withdrawal from a multi-employer pension fund widened the quarterly loss for Pathmark Stores to $18.8 million in its fiscal second quarter that ended Aug. 4, the retailer here said last week. Pathmark reported a loss of $8.8 million in the same period a year ago. Sales for the 13-week quarter decreased by 0.4% to $999 million, and same-store sales fell by 0.2%, Pathmark said. The loss included charges of $7.2 million related to the pending merger with A&P, $7 million related to pension withdrawal and a $2.2 million impairment charge. These expenses were slightly offset by a gain of $5.5 million on the sale of real estate and by improved EBITDA, which increased by $3.4 million to $29.6 million for the quarter due to better in-store merchandising and expense control, Pathmark said.
TORONTO — Loblaw last week said it was “in an advanced stage in its discussions” to outsource operations of its distribution center in Ajax, Ontario. Atlas Logistics, also based here, would run the 870,000-square-foot dry and perishable food distribution center supplying stores throughout Ontario, starting next spring, Loblaw said.