SAN DIEGO — Wal-Mart locations in California will pay consumers $3 at the register when it makes a pricing error, according to terms of a settlement over price-scanning errors announced last week by officials here. Wal-Mart also agreed to pay a $1.4 million fine. The settlement, announced by California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr., dates back to a 2005 investigation that found Wal-Mart stores in California were scanning items at a higher price than the prices advertised on store shelves and signs. Through random price-checking, officials found that 164 Wal-Mart Stores in 30 California counties had made scanning errors. On average, customers who were overcharged paid an extra $8.40 at the checkout.
MINNEAPOLIS — A spokesman for Nash Finch here told SN that its policy of “shelf-plus” pricing at its Avanza stores is “not novel,” and is expressed clearly to its customer on store signs and receipts. The company said it would not comment specifically on the lawsuits filed last month by shoppers charging that the policy, which adds a 10% charge at the register, violated consumer protection laws in Colorado. “Any suggestion that Nash Finch sought to confuse customers at its Avanza stores is false and demeans those customers to the extent it implies they would be unable to understand our pricing policies,” Brian Numainville, the company spokesman, said in a statement.
OKLAHOMA CITY — The parent company of the Homeland Stores chain here has agreed to acquire five Williams supermarkets from Williams Discount Foods, also based here. Terms were not disclosed. Homeland's parent, HAC Inc., said the five stores are among the six former Albertsons locations that Williams had acquired last year. Jeff Williams, president and co-owner of the Williams chain, told SN the stores were performing well and “improving every quarter.” He said Williams will continue to operate nine locations. HAC said it will operate 76 stores in Oklahoma and one in Kansas when the purchase is completed.
CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Dollar Tree, which previously reported strong third-quarter sales, last week said net earnings improved by 20% during the same period. Net income of $43.1 million for the quarter, which ended Nov. 1, improved from $35.9 million in the same period last year, Dollar Tree said. Margin as a percent of sales dipped to 34.1% from 34.5%, due in part to a shift in sales mix toward food and consumables, the company said. As previously reported, quarterly sales at Dollar Tree improved by 11.6% to $1.1 billion.
LOS ANGELES — The labor-backed Food and Drug Council last week rallied in front of a Bristol Farms store here calling for the boycott of Alta Dena Dairy products. According to the Food and Drug Council, Alta Dena Dairy is on the California Labor Federation's “Do Not Patronize” list because it fails to make affordable health care available to its workers in City of Industry and fails to observe other prevailing wages and benefits for its workers. Organizers planned to spread the campaign across 15 Bristol Farms stores.