ACME, WORKERS CITE PROGRESS
PHILADELPHIA — Acme Markets here last week said it was making progress with union workers on a new contract, and had averted a threat of an immediate strike. “Both sides have agreed to continue discussions peacefully,” Judy Spires, Acme's president, said in a statement to workers last week. “Everything will be business as usual in our stores as negotiations continue.” United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1360, West Berlin, N.J., represents around 2,300 Acme workers at 31 locations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The union had threatened to strike when a contract extension expired Nov. 20.
UKROP'S POSTS THIRD-QUARTER LOSS
RICHMOND, Va. — Ukrop's Super Markets here posted a loss of $1.45 million loss during the fiscal third quarter, according to documents filed with the Office of Thrift Supervision. The financial report was required because of new federal oversight requirements of financial institutions. Ukrop's has an ownership interest in First Market Bank. The filing did not includes sales figures. It listed $8.4 million in debt maturing in the coming 12 months and $81.7 million in longer-term debt. Previous reports show Ukrop's posted a profit of $1.4 million in the second quarter.
SOBEYS ISSUES SUSTAINABILITY REPORT
STELLARTON, Nova Scotia — Sobeys has established new targets to reduce greenhouse gases and waste production as part of its first annual sustainability report, the retailer here said last week. The report outlines the company's long-term sustainability strategy, including new targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15% and total waste production by 30% by 2013. “Our goal is to integrate a stronger sustainability mindset and performance culture within our day-to-day business practices,” Bill McEwan, president and chief executive officer of Sobeys, said in a statement.
RETAILER TO LAUNCH ‘VIRTUAL WALLET’
MONTESANO, Wash. — Pick-Rite Thriftway, a one-store operator here, will introduce a loyalty system this week that employs a “virtual wallet” where promotional offers can be populated. The system, from Accelitec, Bellingham, Wash., has until now been used by Haggen, Bellingham, Wash., at its 17 Top Food & Drug outlets. “As we learn what customers are looking for, we'll specify offers to them,” said Mark Galland, owner of the store. During the launch period, the store will have a sign-up desk offering shoppers $5 for their virtual wallet for joining the program. Shoppers will identify themselves with a bar-coded key fob at the POS, though Haggen uses an RFID-based ID in its program.
WEGMANS TO OPEN NEW RESTAURANT
PITTSFORD, N.Y. — Wegmans Food Markets next month will open a casual restaurant called the Next Door Bar & Grill across the street from its store here and will close the Tastings restaurant alongside it. The new bar and grill will feature an outdoor patio. “We're turning our passion for sourcing the best ingredients from local producers into a restaurant for all seasons with the opening of our Next Door Bar & Grill,” the Rochester, N.Y.-based company said on its website. The new bar and grill will be the first stand-alone restaurant concept operated by Wegmans, and it appears to be a departure from the white-tablecloth atmosphere of Tastings, the restaurant Wegmans has operated at its Pittsford location since 2002. Much of the restaurant staff of Tastings, including Chris Brandt, executive chef, will be transferred to the new location.