INDEPENDENT WINS $16M AWARD FROM SUPERVALU
RICHMOND, VA. — A jury here has awarded $16 million to a former independent customer of Supervalu, who had argued the wholesaler forced him out of business, reports said last week. Jonathan Johnson, the former operator of Community Pride supermarkets here, had filed a $25 million personal injury lawsuit against Supervalu in 2004, alleging that the Minneapolis-based wholesaler sabotaged his efforts to purchase Camellia's, another small grocery chain, and that Supervalu charged more for merchandise supplied to Johnson's stores than it did to other area supermarkets and had collected manufacturer rebates on products that Johnson did not order. Supervalu was expected to appeal the jury's decision, reports said.
WEIS, BIG Y TO BUY DIVESTED RITE AID LOCATIONS
CAMP HILL, PA. — Supermarket operators Weis Markets and Big Y Foods will buy one store each from Rite Aid Corp. as part of 26 federal- and state-mandated divestitures related to Rite Aid's acquisition of Jean Coutu Group, officials said last week. Sunbury, Pa.-based Weis is to buy a location in Mountain Top, Pa., according to Pennsylvania antitrust authorities. Big Y, Springfield, Mass., is purchasing a store in Connecticut. Other buyers include Kinney Drug, which will purchase three stores; Walgreens, which will buy five stores; and Medicine Shoppe, which will buy 11 locations. Rite Aid's $3.4 billion deal to buy 1,584 Eckerd and Brooks pharmacy locations from Jean Coutu was announced last August and closed last week.
MINYARD SELLS WAREHOUSE AS IT MOVES TO AWG
COPPELL, TEXAS — Minyard Food Stores' 800,000-square-foot corporate property here has been sold to New York-based private equity firm KTR Capital Partners, the retailer said last week. Minyard said it would lease back the office building and maintain its headquarters, but that its warehouse facilities would no longer be needed as Minyard transitions to becoming a customer of Associated Wholesale Grocers by the fall. Minyard announced earlier this year it would outsource warehousing and distribution to AWG, Kansas City, Kan., in a move designed to free up financial and human resources and allow Minyard to upgrade its supermarket portfolio. “We are delighted to have found a buyer who will be able to make full use of our warehouse, campus and acreage,” Michael D. Byars, Minyard's chief executive officer, said.
VILLAGE SUPER MARKET REPORTS 21% GAIN IN EARNINGS
SPRINGFIELD, N.J. — Village Super Market here yesterday said remodeled stores and favorable comparisons to year-ago promotions helped drive a 4.3% gain in same-store sales for the 13-week third quarter that ended April 28. Net income rose 21%, to $4.89 million, on a sales gain that matched the same-store increase at 4.3%, to $255.3 million. Sales gains were partially offset by new competition in some areas, the company said. Through three quarters, the 23-store ShopRite operator saw net income rise 24%, to $14.17 million, on sales of $777.2 million, a gain of 3%. Same-store sales also rose 3% year-to-date.
TOPS TO BUY BACK LANCASTER WAREHOUSE FROM C&S
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Tops Markets here said it will buy back a warehouse in Lancaster, N.Y., it had sold to its supplier, Keene, N.H.-based C&S Wholesale Grocers, in 2002. Terms were not disclosed. C&S will continue to operate the 1 million-square-foot distribution center through a service contract, a spokeswoman for Tops told SN. The acquisition could facilitate Ahold's previously disclosed plan to sell the Tops banner, according to local reports. “It made sense for us to buy it back,” Max Henderson Jr., Tops' executive vice president and general manager, told Business First of Buffalo. “It gives any future owners some good options.”