WEIS TO ACQUIRE GIANT MARKETS
SUNBURY, Pa. — Weis Markets here last week said it had agreed to purchase the retail locations of Giant Food Markets, Binghamton, N.Y., which operates 12 grocery stores in Broome County, N.Y. A purchase price was not disclosed. Weis said it expects to complete the acquisition in August and would gradually begin transitioning stores to the Weis banner. “This acquisition is an excellent strategic fit for our company. Giant Markets is the market leader in Broome County where they have excellent locations, modern stores and a strong market presence,” Jonathan Weis, vice chairman of Weis Markets, said in a statement. Weis has a strong presence in the nearby Scranton-Wilkes-Barre market in Pennsylvania. Giant was founded in 1933 and operates its own warehouse and distribution facility. Those assets are not a part of the acquisition by Weis.
LONE STAR TO PAY $2M TO BRUNO'S
GREENVILLE, S.C. — Lone Star Funds, the owner of bankrupt Southeast chains Bruno's and Bi-Lo, chipped in $2 million to Bruno's creditors so that Bruno's recent liquidation sale wouldn't also sink Bi-Lo, court documents filed in Bi-Lo's bankruptcy case here last week showed. The payment — along with an agreement from Bi-Lo to subordinate a portion of its claims against Bruno's — were offered in exchange for Bruno's creditors rejecting a similar payment from C&S Wholesale Grocers. The C&S offer would have triggered a $60 million debt related to its supply agreement it would have sought from Bi-Lo, the papers said.
SUPERVALU EVALUATES PRICE CUTS
FULLERTON, Calif. — A Supervalu spokeswoman last week told SN that the retailer would evaluate customer response to its “Big Relief” price-cutting program — now implemented in three markets — before rolling it to additional divisions. The program, which involves reducing prices up to 20% on thousands of items, has been implemented in Jewel-Osco in the Midwest, and at Albertsons stores in Las Vegas and Southern California.
CALIFORNIA UFCW LOCALS MERGE
ROSEVILLE, Calif. — Members of United Food and Commercial Workers Union 8-Golden State in Northern California and members of UFCW Local 1036 on the northern fringe of Southern California have voted to ratify an agreement to join forces. As a result, Local 8-Golden State will have a seat at the bargaining table when Southern California's union locals meet with major chains to negotiate new contracts in 2011 — “an important step toward marshaling all of our union's strength throughout California to win the strongest possible contracts for all our members,” said Jacques Loveall, president of Local 8. Local 1036 — with members in Inyo, Mono and Kern counties — has been operating under a trusteeship since late 2007 after a disputed election.
FRESH & EASY EXPANDS OFFERINGS
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market here said last week it plans to introduce more than 1,000 new items at its U.S. stores this summer. The first products moving into the stores are Mother's Joy, a line of cold cereals, a company spokesman told SN. To accommodate the added items, the chain raised its shelving in the cereal section by one foot, he said. Simon Uwins, chief marketing officer, on his blog said the new items would be sold “at amazing prices.”