KROGER ADDS 60 ORGANICS TO PRIVATE-LABEL LINE
CINCINNATI — Sixty additional organic store-brand items will begin hitting Kroger's shelves this month, the retailer said last week. Organic pasta, tea, waffles, peanut butter, snacks and milk are among the items planned for Kroger's Private Selections organic line, which is designed to appeal to mainstream consumers. Sold under the slogan “Organics for Everyone,” Private Selections items will be priced below products sold under Kroger's three-year-old Naturally Preferred natural and organic store brand, according to one published report. Unlike Naturally Preferred items, which are segregated in the Nature's Market areas at certain locations, Kroger will merchandise its Private Selections items beside their conventional counterparts.
COMP-SALES UP IN 2Q AT STOP & SHOP, GIANT-CARLISLE
AMSTERDAM — Ahold said comparable-store sales were positive at Stop & Shop and Giant-Carlisle in the second quarter, but were down 0.8% at Giant-Landover. Comps rose 1.7% at Stop & Shop and 4.4% at Giant-Carlisle. At the combined Stop & Shop/Giant-Landover division, total sales were up 1.9%, to $3.9 billion. At Giant-Carlisle, sales rose 13.7%, to $1 billion, in part because of the acquisition of Clemens Markets late last year. The company said margins continued to be pressured by the rollout of the Value Improvement Program, which involves reducing SKUs and cutting prices. Ahold's flagship Albert Heijn chain in the Netherlands saw sales rise 10.3%. Overall second-quarter sales at Ahold were up 5.6% at constant exchange rates, to about $9.1 billion U.S.
WAL-MART FORMS RETAIL SUPPLY OPERATION IN INDIA
BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores here last week said it has established a joint venture with an Indian company to develop a wholesale distribution and logistics business in India. The Indian company, Bharti Enterprises, operates retail stores and other businesses in the country. The two companies will each have a 50% stake in Bharti Wal-Mart Private Ltd., which will seek to leverage Wal-Mart's supply chain expertise to provide product to kirana stores (tiny mom-and-pop food outlets), produce resellers, restaurants and other businesses. The joint venture also would open cash-and-carry outlets of 50,000-100,000 square feet, beginning by the end of next year. Over the next seven years, Bharti Wal-Mart said it could open up to 10-15 such outlets offering perishables, grocery items, clothing, consumer durables and other general merchandise.
GELSON'S MARKETS POSTS 2Q PROFIT GAINS OF 40%
LOS ANGELES — Arden Group here, parent of the 18-unit Gelson's Markets chain, last week reported net income of $6.5 million for the 13-week second quarter that ended June 30, up 39.6% over year-ago results. Sales were up 0.6%, to $119.8 million, vs. $119.1 million in the year-ago period. Same-store sales were also up 0.6%. Year-to-date net income rose 31.2%, to $12.97 million, on a sales increase of 1.3%, to $240.3 million; same-store sales also rose 1.3% for the 26-week span. The results included expenses for stock-appreciation rights of $433,000 and $1.25 million in the most recent quarter and half-year, respectively, while the year-ago periods included charges of $1.83 million and $2.42 million, respectively.
A&P, PATHMARK EXTEND DATE FOR MERGER
MONTVALE, N.J. — A&P here said last week that it has reached an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission not to complete its proposed acquisition of Pathmark Stores, Carteret, N.J., before 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 26. In March, A&P agreed to acquire Pathmark in a transaction valued at $1.3 billion, and is awaiting FTC approval. Last month A&P said it had substantially complied with the FTC's request for information on the deal.