MAULDIN, S.C. — Bi-Lo here posted flat sales and a $2.5 million loss in a monthly operating report filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court last week. The report for the four weeks from Aug. 16 to Sept. 12 showed sales of $194.6 million vs. sales of $195.5 million in the same period last year. EBITDA of $9.3 million was up from $8.9 million in the year-ago period, and a loss of $2.5 million was down from last year's loss of $2.9 million.
CHANDLER, Ariz. — A Bashas' store in Goodyear, Ariz., that closed Oct. 9 — one of 23 underperforming units the chain closed since filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection — reopened last week at the request of the developer of the shopping center where the store is located. Bashas' opted to reopen the 50,000-square-foot store, which was only 10 months old, after the developer, Westcor, “came to us and made an offer to lower the lease that was good enough for us to come back and try to make a go of that store,” a chain spokesman told SN. However, the store will close an hour earlier than previously, with more emphasis on items that sold well and less on those that didn't, he said.
PORTLAND, Ore. — United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555 here last week filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board against Fred Meyer, after a store manager in Hillsboro, Ore., called local police to stop union representatives from talking to store employees. Three union members at the store last week received citations from police, who were called to the store when managers said the representatives would not disperse when asked, a union spokeswoman told SN. Local 555 currently has two sets of negotiations with Fred Meyer, a division of Kroger, Cincinnati. The food workers' contract is currently in extension, although no new talks have been set. Fred Meyer did not respond to a request for comment.
BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores here has agreed to pay $11 million to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by Iowa workers charging the retailer forced workers to skip breaks and work off the clock, according to the Associated Press. The lawsuit was filed in 2001 on behalf of 97,000 current and former workers. It claimed the company failed to compensate them for overtime and prevented them from taking breaks. Wal-Mart admitted no wrongdoing as part of the settlement. Wal-Mart previously said it would spend up to $640 million to settle labor lawsuits around the country this year.
ST. LOUIS — Less than a year after it opened, specialty grocer Straub's Markets will close its new store in Ellisville, Mo., this week, citing slow sales. The 40,000-square-foot location, which opened in December, was Straub's first new store in 40 years and the largest by far for the retailer, which operates four other stores in the St. Louis area. J.W. “Trip” Straub, vice president, told SN last week, “We decided to close now for two main reasons: Get some of our talented staff back to our four smaller stores to be better prepared for the holidays and to have a better chance to sell through the inventory much quicker throughout November and December.”