Friday, June 11, 2010

Weekly One-Liners: News from the Week of June 6

 Due to Contract Negotiations, we'll be releasing the Morning Read twice a week until our Contract is settled with King Kullen, Stop and Shop and Pathmark.  Thank you.

Union workers at Kroger stores in Michigan were still working on Thursday despite their contract expiring. The workers, represented by United Food and Commercial Workers Local 876 here, in a statement said they were fighting “concessionary demands from Kroger,” including defunding a trust account that pays for health benefits. [Supermarket News]

Supermarket Strike Looms
A Spokesperson for Queens Village-based Local 1500 of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union characterized contract negotiatons with the major area supermarket chains as "not going good," on contracts that will expire on Saturday, June 26.

A Kroger spokesperson told Local 4 union employees will take a final vote on the contract next week. Workers will be getting a visit from a union representative before the vote. 

Royal Ahold NV, the operator of Stop & Shop and Giant grocery chains, said net profit rose 45 percent in the first quarter as costs stemming from the bankruptcy of its BI-LO subsidiary were less than feared. 

After negotiating for six months with no end in sight, union members voted to approve a strike last week. Macy's agreed to come to the table for mediation shortly thereafter. 

Walmart Eyes Growth in Russia
Walmart, the world's largest retailer, has signaled its continued interest in establishing stores in Russia, albeit in  a characteristically unusual way. 

A grocery chain with nine stores in the area had hired Saint Consulting Group to secretly run the antidevelopment campaign. Saint is a specialist at fighting proposed Walmarts, and it uses tactics it describes as "black arts".

Online grocer Peapod, a division of Ahold, is hosting its first community forum today in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood to address food deserts, large geographic areas that have no or distant mainstream grocery stores. 

Cub Foods is taking on Walmart stores in a fight over the busy St.Paul-Midway shopping district.

Supervalu and Safeway Helped Bolster Anti-Walmart Protests. So What?
Recently, a WSJ investigation revealed that supposedly grassroots opposition to construction of some Walmart stores was funded and facilitated by operatives working for its grocery competitors, including Supervalu and Safeway.

Full investigation @ WSJ.

CHICAGO, IL--The vote to rezone an area on the Far Sound side to make way for the city's second Walmart retail store was delayed for a second time.

Shoprite opens eighth Maryland location
The new store will be located in the Chesapeake Square Shopping Center, which is owned by principals of the Fedder Company and the Briarwood Group. 

Mill Valley's second Whole Foods Store to open
Whole Foods will debut its much-anticipated second Mill Valley store, a green open-air-style marketplace featuring locally grown products. Officials said they weren't certain, but Mill Valley is likely the smallest town to have two Whole Foods stores. 

Whole Foods Continues Distribution Deal with UNFI
Specialty food distributor United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) will continue to be the primary distributor for Whole Foods Market, which accounted for approximately 33 percent of UNFI's sales last year, until 2010.

Fairway Cafe, a restaurant located within the landmakr grocery store on the Upper West Side, has yet to confirm rumors of its closure, but already a handful of neighbors have sprung into action. 

Syracuse Wegmans stores seeing produce from down on the farm--the Wegmans farm.
Northeasterners normally must wait until July for local ripe tomatoes, but some upstate New York Wegmans shoppers received theirs a lot earlier.

More than 2,400 students plan to walk out of school at noon today to protest the elimination of free MetroCards-- and leaders from the city's political wired transit and teachers unions will be there to cheer them on.


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