PRICE CHOPPER TO BUY 6 P&C STORES
SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — Price Chopper here has agreed to acquire six P&C supermarkets from Tops Friendly Markets for $14 million, a Price Chopper spokeswoman told SN. The transaction is expected to close in 30 days, after which the stores will be converted to the Price Chopper banner. The stores include five in the upstate New York towns of Canton, Gouverneur, Massena, Potsdam and West Carthage and one in Lincoln, N.H. “As part of our initial evaluation of all Penn Traffic locations, it was determined these stores were on the outer edge of our geographic footprint and would best be served by another retailer,” said Frank Curci, Tops' president and chief executive officer. During the bankruptcy of former P&C parent company Penn Traffic, Price Chopper had bid $54 million for 22 of Penn Traffic's P&C locations.
SHAW'S WAREHOUSE WORKERS STRIKE
METHUEN, Mass. — Workers at a Shaw's distribution center here went on strike last week after negotiations on a new contract broke down, according to the union, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 791. In a prepared statement, Shaw's parent company, Minneapolis-based Supervalu, said the union had insisted on a “last, best and final offer” to vote on by March 7. Workers struck March 8 and were still on strike late last week. “We are disappointed our associates voted down that fair and reasonable contract offer, which would have increased wages, provided comprehensive health care and maintained the benefit levels and security of their pension,” the company said, adding that it has a contingency plan to supply its stores.
UKROP'S TO CLOSE FOR REMODELS
RICHMOND, Va. — Giant of Carlisle, Pa., last week unveiled plans to remodel all 25 Ukrop's stores it acquired as it converts them to the Martin's banner. Plans call for closing the stores, located here and in Williamsburg, Va., for one week at a time on a staggered schedule. In-store banks and pharmacies will remain open, however. The multi-million-dollar revamp initiative will include added refrigeration, new lighting, updated signs and decor packages, expanded Wi-Fi access, and more self-checkout lanes. The work is expected to be completed at all 25 stores later this spring, Giant said.
BRUNO'S BONDHOLDERS SETTLE SUIT
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A 10-year-old lawsuit by bondholders of the now-defunct Bruno's Supermarkets here against Citigroup has been settled, according to local press reports. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. The suit was filed in 1999 after Bruno's defaulted on $400 million in bonds sold to investors to finance the 1995 purchase of the chain by Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts, a New York-based investment firm. Citigroup served as a financial advisor to Bruno's at the time.
FRESH & EASY TO APPEAL NLRB RULING
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market here said last week that it plans to appeal a ruling by a federal administrative law judge in Las Vegas who found the chain's policies on distribution of pro-union literature and home visitation by union members too severe. The judge's ruling followed a complaint filed last November with the National Labor Relations Board by a former employee and the United Food & Commercial Workers Union. The complaint charged Fresh & Easy with interfering with the rights of employees, which Fresh & Easy denied.