NYC OKS SUPERMARKET INCENTIVES
NEW YORK — The City Planning Commission here last week voted unanimously to adopt a program providing financial and zoning incentives for supermarkets in underserved communities. The FRESH program “will bring fresh food choices into over 45 underserved and low-income communities and, importantly, also bring jobs to those neighborhoods,” Amanda Burden, planning commissioner, said in a statement.
WINCO DC WILL FACILITATE UTAH GROWTH
BOISE, Idaho — WinCo Foods opened a new distribution center here last week — the chain's fourth facility overall and third full-line grocery warehouse — that will facilitate its move into Utah next month, a company spokesman told SN. The new facility is 750,000 square feet and will be capable of supplying up to 28 stores in Idaho, eastern and central Washington and Utah. WinCo, based here, will open its first two Utah stores next month in the Salt Lake City area and has plans to build in Ogden, Roy and Orem. The spokesman said the company is looking at other potential sites in Utah and other potential trade areas in other states where it does not operate, though he declined to be specific.
JUDGE SETS NEW DEADLINE FOR BI-LO
COLUMBIA, S.C. — A judge in the Bi-Lo Chapter 11 bankruptcy case has given the retailer until Oct. 7 to file a plan of reorganization and ordered Bi-Lo and its creditors to discuss all possible plans including potential transactions until then. Bi-Lo had asked for an extension through Oct. 19. Term lenders in the meantime filed with the court details of its proposal for reorganization, involving a $72 million investment in exchange for new equity in the company. Bi-Lo separately said it recorded a loss of $970,000 on sales of $199.9 million for the four weeks that ended Aug. 15. The unaudited figures showed a sharp drop from the prior four-week period, when Bi-Lo earned $30.8 million on sales of $205 million.
NEW TRIAL FOR NUMERO UNO OWNER
LOS ANGELES — The U.S. Attorney's office here said a new trial will be scheduled for George Torres, owner of 11 Numero Uno Markets here, after the remaining charges against him were thrown out earlier this week by a U.S. District Court judge. The charges, involving mail fraud and bribery, were dismissed after prosecutors turned over tape-recorded conversations containing information that was potentially beneficial to Torres' defense regarding at least one key informant who testified against him — conversations that took place before Torres' trial but that were not discovered until afterward. Torres had been convicted in April of racketeering and other charges and was facing a life sentence. When the racketeering and conspiracy charges were dismissed in June, Torres was released from jail.
OHIO COURT UPHOLDS GROCERY TAX
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio's Supreme Court here has ruled the state's commercial activity tax (CAT) is constitutional and not an excise tax on food. The 6-1 decision overturned a district court finding in favor of supermarket operators under the Ohio Grocers Association, which had sued for an exemption of the CAT — a business tax enacted by the state in 2005. Because the CAT is calculated from gross receipts, the association contended it was a tax on food sales. Around $730 million in tax revenue was at stake, according to published reports.