MONTREAL — In a move that would create Ontario's largest grocery banner, Metro Inc. here said last week that it would consolidate all of its conventional food stores in Ontario under the Metro name starting next month. The launch of Metro in Ontario will be supported by a $191 million (U.S.) investment in upgraded store facilities and marketing, said Metro, which as a result of acquisitions currently operates stores in Ontario under the Dominion, A&P, Loeb, The Barn and Ultra Food & Drug labels. Those banners, beginning with Dominion in the Toronto area, will be converted to Metro over 18 months. The company said it would not change its Food Basics discount banner. Metro also last week said that third-quarter earnings improved 3.7% to $88.4 million (U.S.) on sales of $3.2 billion. Revenues were up 0.9%.
AMSTERDAM — Price investments and promotional activity helped Ahold post quarterly sales gains of 1.7% at Stop & Shop/Giant-Landover and 11.5% at Giant-Carlisle, the company here said. Sales of $4 billion in the Stop & Shop/Giant-Landover division showed identical-sales gains of 1.1%, excluding fuel, at Stop & Shop and an identical-store sales decrease of 1.7%, also excluding fuel, at Giant. Lower pharmacy sales impacted results, Ahold said, while growth was supported by price investment and promotional activity. Giant-Carlisle posted sales of $1.1 billion and identical-store sales gains of 4.1%, excluding fuel.
LAKELAND, Fla. — Publix Super Markets here said it suffered a profit squeeze in the second quarter, as net income fell 3.5%, to $295.8 million, even though sales were up for the period. The employee-owned chain, with 940 stores, said sales for the quarter increased 3.5%, to $5.9 billion, and comparable-store sales were up 1.3%. Through the first half, net income rose 2.4%, to $638.9 million, on a sales gain of 4.8%, to $12.1 billion.
LOS ANGELES — Increased competition and a slowing economy contributed to a sales decline of 2.7% during the second quarter that ended June 28 for Gelson's Markets, parent company Arden Group here said last week. The upscale chain said that rising costs for food and fuel “may have caused some of our customers to make some or all of their purchases from our competitors,” as sales fell to $116.6 million and same-store sales declined by 2.7%. Net income of $6.6 million improved by 1.7%. For the 26-week period, net income increased 1.4% to $13.1 million on sales of $235.4 million, a 2% revenue decline.
BETHESDA, Md. — Gourmet grocer Balducci's here last week said it has sealed an agreement with a real estate developer in Dubai to open multiple locations in that United Arab Emirates city. The first location will be a small, 1,000-square-foot “grab-and-go” store in the Mall of Dubai, a Balducci's spokeswoman told SN. Both the Mall and the Balducci's store are slated to open “at the end of the summer,” she said. Balducci's, which operates 12 stores on the East Coast of the U.S., was approached about the idea of expanding overseas by its partner in the venture, Nakheel Retail, a Dubai World company. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.