FOOD EMPORIUM FOR SALE: REPORT
MONTVALE, N.J. — A&P here has sought out investor interest in its Food Emporium banner, according to reports. As previously reported, the high-end Food Emporium banner, which operates 16 stores in Manhattan and one in Connecticut, was a possible candidate for divestiture as A&P seeks to shed “non-core” assets. Karen Short, an analyst with BMO Capital Markets, told SN the banner could fetch about $200 million. According to a report last week in the Wall Street Journal, investment bank Peter J. Solomon Co. “has made an effort to gauge potential buyer interest in the Food Emporium chain,” citing a private equity investor. Neither A&P nor the investment bank could be reached for comment.
MARSH STORE TO HAVE UNION VOTE
BEECH GROVE, Ind. — Workers at a Marsh location here are set to vote Sept. 17 on whether to form a union at the store, according to United Food and Commercial Workers Local 700, which said it has been seeking to unionize the chain. A majority of workers at the store petitioned the National Labor Relations Board to hold the election, the union said. No other stores operated by Indianapolis-based Marsh Supermarkets are unionized, the local said, although warehouse workers and truck drivers employed by the chain belong to unions. The union has filed two complaints against Marsh with the NLRB, accusing it of disciplining workers who sought to form a union.
MICHIGAN WORKERS EXTEND CONTRACT
MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. — After workers at 17 Kroger stores in the Flint and Saginaw, Mich., areas rejected a labor contract offer from Cincinnati-based Kroger Co., they have agreed to extend the current pact until Sept. 15, reports said last week. The workers voted to authorize the two union locals, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 876, based here, and UFCW Local 951, based in Grand Rapids, Mich., to call a strike. The contract covers about 1,900 workers employed at former Kessel stores that Kroger had acquired in 2000. The union said workers are “unsatisfied” with proposed pay rates, wage freezes and health insurance costs.
CALIFORNIA BAG BILL REJECTED
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Plastic bags will continue to be an option at California supermarkets following the failure last week by the California Senate to pass a bill that would have prohibited distribution of single-use plastic bags — although approximately 75 cities around the state are considering similar legislation at the local level. The California Grocers Association, which supported the measure, here blamed the Senate's failure to pass the bill on “a furious and unprecedented lobbying effort by the American Chemistry Council.” According to Ronald Fong, CGA president, “The chemical industry threw up a smokescreen that may have worked today but, once the air clears, it will find Californians will still demand a bag ban.”
MEIJER LAUNCHES DIGITAL COUPONS
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Meijer Inc. last week launched a digital coupon program called mPerks allowing shoppers to redeem coupons at the POS without having to handle paper coupons. By signing up at mperks.meijer.com, shoppers can preview and select coupons for national or Meijer-brand products that are then stored in their personal mPerks account. The applicable coupons are instantly redeemed when shoppers key in their mobile phone number at the checkout. The company had been using mPerks for text-based offers.