SUPERVALU TO COMPLETE BOISE CUTBACKS THIS SUMMER
MINNEAPOLIS — Supervalu here plans to complete the cutback of the Albertsons operation in Boise, Idaho, by the end of the summer as part of an effort to enhance the ability of the staffs at the corporate headquarters and the Intermountain West division “to collaborate and partner for increased understanding and success,” a company spokeswoman told SN last week. Supervalu, which acquired the premier operations of the former Boise-based Albertsons in June 2006, plans to reduce the staff there to about 1,700, down 30% from the 2,350 people working there at the time of the acquisition. The reduction includes executives whose positions were duplicative as well as 400 merchandising and marketing people whose jobs were moved to Minneapolis, Supervalu said. The company also said it plans to shut down five of the 10 Albertsons buildings in Boise, including three leased units and two owned locations.
UNITED SUPERMARKETS TO BUY DISTRIBUTOR R.C. TAYLOR
LUBBOCK, Texas — United Supermarkets here said it would purchase R.C. Taylor Distributing, a regional supplier for convenience stores and other retailers also based here, effective July 1. Terms were not disclosed. R.C. Taylor, which provides tobacco, candy and some general merchandise distribution for United's Market Street retail stores, will continue as a full-service supplier with customers in Texas and New Mexico, United said. Its 82 employees will become members of United while Robert Taylor, president, will become vice president of logistics for United and oversee the company's supply chain operations. R.C. Taylor operates a 100,000-square-foot warehouse in Lubbock.
UNILEVER COMMENDED FOR STOP & SHOP PARTNERSHIP
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — Unilever, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., was awarded the 2007 consumer packaged goods award for innovation and creativity by the Grocery Manufacturers Association in conjunction with its Associate Member Council, it was announced during the GMA/FPA Executive Conference here last week. The manufacturer was commended for its collaboration with Ahold's Stop & Shop chain. Unilever helped drive Center Store sales at Stop & Shop with several promotions, including one that encouraged consumers to make large shopping trips. It also enhanced low-traffic aisles to ease the shopping experience, according to GMA. Unilever reported that the effort boosted shopper trips 90%, multiple category purchases 80%, sales per trip 25% and total store sales 138%.
CALIFORNIA GROCER INDICTED FOR RACKETEERING
LOS ANGELES — The owner of a small group of grocery stores serving low-income sections of the city here was indicted last week on 59 counts of federal racketeering that include bribing city officials, extorting customers, exploiting employees and ordering murders, according to published reports. George Torres, owner of 11 Numero Uno stores, is reportedly being accused of asking employees to demand cash or other assets from suspected shoplifters; paying employees, including many illegal immigrants, under the table, without withholding any taxes; and paying off members of a regional planning commission in return for their efforts to get permission to sell alcohol at one of his stores. He is also accused of using drug dealers to make threats or commit violence, including murders, on his behalf. An attorney for Torres told the Los Angeles Times he will be “vigorously contesting” the charges.
SHAREHOLDERS, COURTS OK SOBEYS PRIVATE DEAL
STELLARTON, Nova Scotia — Empire Cos. here was expected to finalize its purchase of all the outstanding shares of Sobeys it did not own after shareholders and provincial authorities approved the going-private transaction last week. Empire, which is 60% controlled by members of the Sobey family, said it would buy Sobeys shares for $58 Canadian each. Empire previously owned about 72% of the Sobeys' outstanding shares.