BI-LO EMERGES FROM CHAPTER 11
GREENVILLE, S.C. — Bi-Lo said last week it has successfully completed its financial restructuring and emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. “Today is a great day for Bi-Lo, our teammates and our loyal customers,” Michael Byars, president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. “With our financial restructuring behind us, we are emerging from Chapter 11 with a strengthened balance sheet and enhanced financial flexibility that positions Bi-Lo for continued success in the markets in which we operate.” Bi-Lo operates 207 stores in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee.
KROGER, DALLAS WORKERS REACH DEAL
DALLAS — Kroger has reached a tentative agreement on a new contract with United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1000, covering 8,000 associates at 87 Dallas-area stores. The union plans to call membership meetings to vote on the new contract on May 23-24. “The company and the union worked together to reach an agreement that is good for our associates, good for our customers and good for our company,” said Bill Breetz, president of Kroger Southwest, said in a statement. “This is a good agreement and continues to provide our members with one of the best compensation packages in our industry, in our region,” added Ricky Burris, president of Local 1000.
RETAILERS BACK CARD-FEE AMENDMENT
WASHINGTON — The Merchants Payments Coalition here last week said it supported an interchange-fee reform amendment to the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010. The amendment, introduced by Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., would seek to exempt most small banks and credit unions and instead focus on the largest financial institutions with more than $10 billion in assets. More than 80% of all interchange fees are collected by the 10 largest banks, the MPC said. Leslie Sarasin, president and chief executive officer, Food Marketing Institute, said FMI “strongly encourages members of the Senate to support amendment 3932. This will be one of the most critical votes taken this year that will affect the supermarket industry.”
TRADER JOE'S OBJECTS TO JOE V'S
MONROVIA, Calif. — Trader Joe's Market here has sent a cease-and-desist letter to H.E. Butt Grocery Co., San Antonio, to stop it from opening a new limited-assortment discount format in Houston called Joe V's Smart Shop, according to published reports. The letter claims use of the Joe V's name would cause confusion in the minds of consumers, the reports said. H-E-B opened the store earlier this month. According to reports, the chain said in a court filing the store was named for an executive who was instrumental in developing the concept over the last two years, and there is “no likelihood of confusion, mistake or deception.”
RALPHS ACCUSED OF PRICE VIOLATIONS
LOS ANGELES — The criminal branch of the City Attorney's office here filed a multi-count criminal complaint last week against Ralphs Grocery Co. and its corporate parent, the Kroger Co., alleging they were overcharging customers on prepackaged and weighed products. Similar charges were filed against Ralphs in 2008 and 2009, for which the chain paid fines totaling nearly $17,000. Meghan Glynn, a spokeswoman for Cincinnati-based Kroger, said the company “takes allegations such as these seriously. We are conducting our own investigation and will take corrective actions as necessary.”