BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A hearing to confirm results of last week's auction of Bruno's Supermarkets here was postponed until this week, the company said, saying it was still negotiating with potential buyers. Potential purchasers of at least parts of the chain include supplier C&S Wholesale Grocers, according to court documents filed last week. Also making bids were liquidators Hilco Merchant Resources and Gordon Brothers Group, published reports said. Also last week, Bruno's sister chain, Bi-Lo, asked the court for protection in the event C&S seeks to claim debts owed by Bruno's from Bi-Lo. The request noted that Bi-Lo had guaranteed parts of Bruno's supply contract with C&S.
UNION INKS 4-YEAR DEAL WITH A&P
WESTPORT, Conn. — Members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 371 here have voted to approve a new four-year contract with A&P, a union official told SN. According to Brian Petronella, president of Local 371, the deal provides wage and pension improvements and maintains health care benefits for workers. The contract replaces a deal that expired Feb. 28 and covers 1,300 workers at 15 A&P, Foodmart, Waldbaum's and Food Emporium locations in Connecticut.
SAVE MART PULLOUT HITS C&S DEPOT
WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The decision by Save Mart Supermarkets to self-distribute to its Food Maxx warehouse stores may force C&S Wholesale Grocers to make major cutbacks at its distribution facility here, including a possible shutdown, sources said. Modesto, Calif.-based Save Mart had been buying from C&S since the Keene, N.H.-based wholesaler took over several former Fleming distribution centers in Northern California in 2002. However, Save Mart has apparently been filling orders from its own warehouse facilities, including two it acquired two years ago from Albertsons LLC. Published reports last week said C&S has indicated it may have to eliminate close to 400 of 420 jobs at its facility here.
WEIS BOOSTS CAP-EX SPENDING 25%
SUNBURY, Pa. — Weis Markets will increase capital expenditures by 25% during the current fiscal year, officials announced at the retailer's annual meeting here last week. The $80 million budget includes 18 projects in the planning stages, including a replacement unit and a new store scheduled in coming months, according to Jonathan Weis, vice chairman. A “substantial portion” of the budget is targeted toward an upgrade of Weis' information technology systems, he added.
WESSANEN PUTS TREE OF LIFE FOR SALE
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — Royal Wessanen NV, the Dutch-based parent company of Tree of Life's, based here, said it would seek it sell the natural-product distributor in an effort to focus on its core European operations. In a prepared statement, Richard Lane, chief executive officer of Tree of Life, said the company's business remains strong. “We're in the strongest financial position we've been in since 2002.”
FRESHDIRECT TO PAY FINES FOR IDLING
NEW YORK — Internet grocer FreshDirect here has agreed to adopt a program to reduce the time its delivery trucks spend idling, the state officials. The retailer also agreed to pay a $50,000 fee for violations of city and state anti-idling laws.