COLUMBIA, S.C. — A confirmation hearing for the reorganization of retailer Bi-Lo is set for April 29 at Federal Bankruptcy Court here. The Greenville, S.C.-based company, which filed for Chapter 11 protection a year ago last week, said it intends to reemerge from Chapter 11 behind a new equity infusion from its owners, a renegotiated supply agreement with C&S Wholesale Grocers, and with at least 29 fewer leased locations than when it filed.
BOSTON — Prosecutors are seeking 25 years in prison for the computer hacker who breached the security of retailers including Hannaford Bros. and BJ's Wholesale Club, according to a sentencing memorandum filed in U.S. District Court here. Albert Gonzalez, a hacker who at the time was working as an informant for the U.S. government, conspired with other hackers to perpetuate what attorneys called “the largest and most costly series of identity thefts in the nation's history” at Hannaford, BJ's and other businesses between 2005 and 2008. Gonzalez pleaded guilty to the charges last year.
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Associated Wholesale Grocers here posted sales of $7.1 billion for the fiscal year that ended Dec. 26 — a gain of 3% over the $6.9 billion reported a year earlier. The cooperatively owned wholesaler also announced a record year-end patronage dividend of $145.7 million — equal to 2.6% of qualifying warehouse sales. Including allowances, AWG said it rebated $447.7 million to members in 2009, up by $27.3 million, or 6.5%, while internal gross margins remained even with the prior year.
NATICK, Mass. — BJ's Wholesale Club will be moving into new corporate headquarters in Westborough, Mass., early next year, a spokeswoman for the chain told SN last week. The new site is at the former campus of National Grid, located around 15 miles west of its current site in Natick. The move will allow BJ's employees to occupy a single building as opposed to its current arrangement, where around 1,000 corporate employees work in five different buildings. BJ's lease at the Natick facilities expires later this year.
FAIRFIELD, Ohio — Jungle Jim's International Market has launched a new wholesale produce department, the retailer here said last week. The division offers a full line of fruits, vegetables and ethnic produce, as well as a selection of dry goods, sold by the case to restaurants, stores and schools. The store operates on a cash-and-carry basis out of a new warehouse behind the Jungle Jim's retail store, the company said.
LOS ANGELES — Two former zone managers for Kroger-owned Ralphs Grocery Co. were sentenced last week for telling locked-out employees to use false names and Social Security numbers so they could be rehired during the 134-day labor dispute in Southern California in late 2003 and early 2004. Both Charles Vance and Randall Kruska were sentenced to two years' probation; Vance was also sentenced to three months of house arrest and Kruska was ordered to pay a $3,000 fine. Both men pleaded guilty to the charges. A federal jury acquitted three other former Ralphs executives last June of fraud and conspiracy charges.