Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Lunch Time One Liners...New CEO for A&P

A&P Store logo and trademark during the early ...Image via Wikipedia
A&P Announces new CEO: The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., Inc. (A&P) has appointed Ron Marshall its president and CEO, effective Feb. 8.

Bloomberg News has more, Ron Marshall sat as the CEO of Borders before taking the A&P job.  Yucapia Investments, who holds a 27% ownership stake in A&P, and Aletheia Research & Management, out of Santa Monica, Calif.,  recently purchased 147 million shares of A&P in a series of purchases between Oct. 15 and Dec. 15, representing an investment of more than $136.5 million.  Aletheia, also last month, revealed it had bought a 10.8% stake in bookseller Barnes & Noble, another company in which Yucaipa has invested this year.

The gives a Field Report on A&P:
The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. plans to scale back on a strategy which presented an array of short-term promotions that left shoppers "confused," its chairman recently told investors. The company had hoped to boost sales through a variety of programs that included both weekly and four-day sales, campaigns for its general loyalty program and distinct pet- and baby-related efforts, and a number of other promotions.

MY UFCW Blog: Whole Foods has a Bright Idea: Fat Tax for Employees.

ABC News wonders if this plan is fair.

Meanwhile John Mackey's pay was valued at $654K in 2009.

Supermarket News: Price Chopper here filed a lawsuit against Penn Traffic Co. this week alleging breach of contract after a bankruptcy judge approved the sale of Penn Traffic to Tops Friendly Markets, Williamsville, N.Y., according to reports.

More: Price Chopper Sues Penn Traffic for Breach of Contract.

Philadelphia-based ShopRite owner Jeff Brown was recognized during President Obama’s first-ever State of the Union address for the strides he has made in bringing supermarkets to impoverished urban areas.

Target & Safeway announce new Sustainable Seafood Initiatives.

Gristedes has told Supermarket News they're switching wholesalers, from White Rose to Wakefern.

Union Spotlights Green Cleaning:
Green cleaning standards, including safer cleaning products, have become a key focus of ongoing negotiations over labor contracts for 650 supermarket janitors working at Save Mart and Safeway stores in Northern California.

The Penn Traffic sale to Tops was approved, the UFCW released a statement on what the sale means for the thousands of Penn Traffic workers: "Thousands of UFCW members are hopeful that today's sale will give them the opportunity to maintain their jobs, their health benefits and pensions. Rebuilding this company is essential to the economic security of our communities and will require a strong partnership between Tops Market and workers."


Buffalo News

Wellsboro Gazette: Said Tops Public Relations Manager Kate McKenna, “Although I cannot tell you which stores will be kept open, I can say that it is Tops’ intention to retain as many of the stores and jobs as possible. Right now, we are evaluating all 79 stores. Our decision as to which to keep open and which to close will also be reviewed by the Federal Trade Commission before any announcement can be made.”

Crain's NY: Labor-law violations seen costly for New York City workers.
Employer violations of minimum wage, overtime and other labor laws across an array of industries costs more than 317,000 low-wage workers in the city $18.4 million per week, according to a new study released Thursday.


Recently two Bronx retailers, Foodtown & Western Beef submitted questionnaires that in order to receive NYC incentives from the recently passed Food Retail Expansion to Support Health bill (or F.R.E.S.H.), the city has posted them on the NYC FRESH website,
Western Beef's Questionnaire [pdf]
Foodtown Questionnaire [pdf]

Seeking Alpha looks at the top 6 trends for Supermarkets in 2010.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]Wal-Mart Stores said Thursday it is realigning its Walmart US organization to leverage its scale and move closer to the customer, effective Monday.

2,500 Foxwoods dealers now have a tentative contract with the UAW.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Monday News at Noon

A hearing Monday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court should seal the sale of beleaguered Penn Traffic Co. to Tops Markets.

Acme cuts hours of 131 employees
The recession and price deflation are being blamed for cuts in employee hours and positions at Akron-based grocer Acme Fresh Markets.

Walmart has laid off an unspecified number of Sam's Club staffers, say several former employees of the company, a report from

Business Week: Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s Sam’s Club chain, the second-largest U.S. warehouse club, will cut about 11,200 jobs in the next month after hiring an outside company to take over in-store product demonstrations.

Wall Street Journal:  Sam's Club, engaged in a tough struggle to stand apart from competitors, is cutting about 11,000 jobs and is turning to an independent marketing firm to handle in-store product demonstrations at its warehouses nationwide.

The Hudson Reporter reports on the new Walmart in Bergen County's impact on other supermarkets throughout New Jersey.

The New York Times reports on Walmart's continued struggles expanding in Chicago.

Walmart is also facing expansion troubles in Ontario.

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle covers the Outer Borough Supermarket Attraction event.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle: Borough Pres calls for more Affordable Units, Supermarket in retail space.

And Elizabeth Benjamin reports Bloomberg says the city will be forced to layoff 18,500 workers if Patterson's "unfair" budget is enacted.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Morning News: Target Grocery is a hit.

Aldi Inc. is being sued by more than 200 current and former store managers in 32 states over unpaid overtime wages, in a lawsuit alleging the discount grocer violated the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, the Wall Street Journal has more.

More at Supermarket News.

Crain's is reporting another big Bronx bakery will be shut down: Old London Foods, a maker of Melba toast and other crispy snacks, will shutter its plant in Morris Park, resulting in the loss of 228 jobs

Union workers at Albertsons, Fred Meyer and Safeway stores here have reached a tentative agreement with the chains on a four-year contract.

A recommendation to permit the sale of wine at grocery, a $1 per pack cigarette tax increase, and a penny per ounce tax on sugared beverages linked to obesity are part of the Executive Budget proposed by New York Governor David Paterson Tuesday.

New Yorkers Against Unfair Taxes, a coalition formed to oppose taxes on food and beverage products, has expressed its “disappointment” regarding New York Gov. David Paterson’s proposal to place a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages of 12 cents per 12-ounce can in the 2010-2011 Executive Budget. According to the group, which includes many of the Empire State’s grocery store operators, as well as convenience stores and industry associations, the tax would be 10 times higher on a 12-pack of nonalcoholic beverages than the state tax on a 12-pack of alcoholic beverages like beer. Paterson proposed the nondiet soft drink tax as part of an effort to close the state’s $7.4 billion budget deficit.

New York City unemployment spikes to 10.6%.  

The Star-Ledger writes another article how Walmart's new supermarket in North Bergen, New Jersey will affect grocery shopping habits:
"When it comes to her weekly grocery shopping, Priscilla Restrepo follows a two-part routine: Pathmark for fresh produce, Target next door for packaged food...But yesterday's two-stop grocery run just might have been her last.  Today, just one mile down the road on Tonnelle Avenue, retail giant Wal-Mart is opening its first grocery supercenter in North Jersey - a sprawling 24-hour store, roughly the size of four football fields, which will offer everything from lawn chairs and game consoles to fresh meat and warm baked goods."
They also report that the early reviews of the store are great.

Meanwhile, Supermarket News reports Target's "P-Fresh" prototype store which carries more grocery items, has lifted shopper frequency “as never before,”
In remodeled stores with the new, expanded P-fresh food departments, sales and traffic are up an average of 6% 12 months after the remodelings, he said, which translates into 1,000 extra trips per store per week, or gains of $4.5 million at minimum per year.
Due to these statistics, The Wall Street Journal reports Target is slamming the brakes on store expansion and will pour $1 billion this year into remodeling its existing shops to accelerate a push into groceries.


John Standley, the former chief executive officer at Pathmark Stores, will take over as CEO of Rite Aid Corp. here effective June 24, the drug retailer said Thursday.

More: Business Week.

The Downtown Express covers our rally at Amish Market last week.

Tops is on track to officially get Penn Traffic.

What does the Mass. Senate change mean for the food industry?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wednesday News after Noon...

DEARBORN, MI - MARCH 5:  A Wal-Mart employee w...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

The Food Emporium kicked off its second annual "Taste of Australia" event here Friday.

The Blockbuster Express kiosks will be expanded to 35 additional Gristedes stores throughout New York City.

Fairway Market parent company Sterling Investment Partners Thursday said the local food retailer has completed a $114 million debt financing.

As part of its recently revealed reorganization of its American banners’ support operations, Delhaize Group plans to close 15 Food Lion locations and one Bloom store.

Denver: Safeway says it has reached a tentative three-year labor agreement covering about 600 workers represented by Teamsters Local 455.

Investors analyze Supermarkets looking for a fresh start in 2010.

UFCW Local 538 ratifies a new contract with Kraft/Oscar Myer.

Last week UFCW Local 8 began picketing Fresh & Easy stores in California.

Penn Traffic execs to split $1 Million in bonuses.

The Guardian: Walmart: The US retailer taking over the world by stealth; It has beefed up its green credentials, but Wal-Mart's stance on unions and sheer global scale still provoke as much fear as admiration

NJ: Walmart expansion hearing (Upper Deerfield) delayed for a second time.

A Walmart Supercenter has opened in North Bergen County (NJ), Supermarkets prepare for a battle.
"The 217,240-square-foot North Bergen store is designed according to Wal-Mart's new "Project Impact" store prototype, which features farmers'-market-style displays of fruits and vegetables, refrigerated shelves of heat-and-serve prepared foods, and takeout counters for deli dishes and pizzas. The average Wal-Mart supercenter is between 180,000 to 190,000 square feet.
The North Bergen store is stage one of a three-pronged campaign for a share of North Jersey's grocery dollars. A second supermarket, attached to an existing"- Read More.
New York Budget: Update on selling wine in grocery stores;


Sprint & Walmart teaming up for a nationwide 4G wifi?

A long time rumor circulating in upstate NY is Trader Joe's to the Capital Region [Albany]?  More has surfaced including an email from a reliable source regarding Trader Joe's interest in upstate New York.

New York Times, Michael Cooper: GOP Senate Victory Stuns Democrats.

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Rally at Noon @ Amish Market Park Place Today!

Union’s Rally for Justice on Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday

“An injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere.”

                              - Martin Luther King Jr.

Unions representing thousands of workers at the World Trade Center site and in the immediate area are coming together to support workers at Amish Market Tribeca.

Who: UFCW Local 1500, the Building and Construction Trades Council of New York, the New York Central Labor Council, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn

What: Rally in support of workers at Amish Market at 53 Park Place.

When: January 15, 2010 at 12 noon – 1pm

Where: 53 Park Place @ West Broadway, Manhattan

Why:  To highlight Amish Market Tribeca's long standing anti-worker behavior.  Union and community members will pledge not to patronize Amish Market Tribeca until the owners demonstrate a reversal of their stand against workers rights.

Speakers: Speaking at the rally will be City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Central Labor Council President Jack Ahern, UFCW Local 1500 President Bruce Both as well as a worker from the market.

Performance: Rude Mechanical Orchestra (a 30-odd-piece New York City radical marching band and dance troupe).

Background: On February 26, 2009 New York State Department of Labor announced a $1.5 million enforcement action against Amish Market Park Place and other stores for primarily unpaid wages. To protect themselves from these kinds of abuses, workers have been trying to unite into UFCW Local 1500 but have been met with significant resistance from the store’s management including harassment and intimidation of union supporters.

To RSVP, or for more details head to Facebook.
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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wednesday News After Noon...Gillibrand Ford Rivalry, A&P: New CEO Soon.

A&P logo

A&P looks to Yucaipa to help re-think business strategy
Faced with dismal financial results during a down economy, the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., Inc. is conferring with one of its top investors, West Coast-based Yucaipa, to help it figure out how to staunch the bleeding.

Supermarket News reported "the financial results included a $412.6 million write-down for Pathmark. EBITDA of $36 million declined 54% from the same period last year and came in well below analyst expectations of $67.8 million. Comparable-store sales fell by 5.8%."

The Wall Street Journal also has more.

A&P: 'A New CEO Coming Soon'
A&P’s next chief executive officer should be in place by the time the retailer’s new fiscal year begins in March, officials said Tuesday. A&P has been operating under interim CEO Christian Haub since firing Eric Claus from its top position in October.

Two New York City stores (Western Beef & Foodtown) will be the first to attempt to redeem public financing from the recently passed F.R.E.S.H. measure through the NYC Council.

Walmart said it will close 10 underperforming Sam’s Club stores later this month and cut 1,500 jobs to reduce costs.

Hannaford expands its 'Keep Local Farms' initiative 
Hannaford Supermarkets became the first retailer in the country to implement the Keep Local Farms initiative, which connects consumers with dairy farmers through education and direct support. Together with local dairy farmers, Hannaford launched the program in its 171 locations in New England and New York yesterday.

NY Times: Labor's Campaign Against Taxing Health Plans.

The UFCW is holding a 'Click to Action Day' today! 
"A significant portion of the American workforce is working part-time and in the declining economy, even more full-time workers are becoming involuntarily part-time.  These workers have less access to health care than their full-time counterparts, and the Senate health care bill, if passed as written, will only accelerate this process. We have one last chance to fix the bill. Representatives must hear from you right away."  Find out more at
President Obama meets with Labor leaders to discuss Health Care Tax.

The Harold Ford Jr. camp is calling Kristen Gillibrand a "White House puppet"

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tuesday News...

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 08:  The Wal-Mart logo i...Image by Getty Images via Daylife
Walmart and Chicago
Walmart-Chicago Deal Falls Apart: Chicago Tribune

Walmart Building Battle Drags On: Chicago Sun-Times

Walmart Stores in California has stopped giving out free bags at three stores in Northern California as a test. 

Walmart announced they will close 10 Sam's Club's in US.

AFL CIO Blog: Unions Battle Verizon-Frontier Deal and $600 Million Tax Break
There is an oddly named tax loophole—the Reverse Morris Trust—that is so big and lucrative Verizon is getting ready to pull $600 million through it if its sale of rural phone landlines in 14 states to Frontier Communications is approved.
Not only does Verizon stand to pocket the $600 million tax break, but a similar deal in New England shows consumers’ phone and Internet services are likely to deteriorate and workers’ jobs may be put in jeopardy.

Penn Traffic Sale Expected by Jan.25

Penn Traffic Co., parent company of Quality Markets in the Town of Lockport, is expected to be sold by Jan. 25 according to court documents from the company’s bankruptcy proceedings.

The top bidder remains Tops Markets, which on Friday put in an $85 million offer to purchase all of Penn Traffic’s assets including all 79 stores. The bid surpassed that of Price Chopper, which submitted a $54 million bid for 22 of Penn Traffic’s P&C Foods stores. Tops’ offer has been accepted by Penn Traffic but still needs court approval, which will be determined at a later hearing date. If Tops’ bid is not approved, then another bidder could step in, because according to court documents, bidders have until Jan. 19 to file offers.

Price Chopper on acquiring Penn Traffic stores: "It's pretty much over"

Harold Ford Jr. pleas his Senate case to New Yorkers in the NY Post.

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Monday Morning One Liners...

"The message is Wal-Mart is not a panacea. What Wal-Mart will do is going to change the kind of businesses you have in your area. It will create some jobs but force others out of business or prevent them from opening,"
-David Merriman, Department of Economics, University of Illinois at Chicago, on a new study which shows Walmart has cost the city of Chicago job growth.

Foot Locker will close 117 stores, and cut 120 jobs.

Supermarket News looks at Tops' bid for Penn Traffic's 79 stores... The Morning Times has more details..
The UFCW has released a statement on Tops' bid for the stores.

Another article on companies like Target and CVS preparing for the Employee Free Choice Act. looks at 10 things that Gourmet Grocers won't tell you.

Albertsons LLC said Friday it plans to close eight underperforming stores in Florida in mid-February and three Colorado stores in early March. The closures will reduce the chain's store count to 20 in Florida and 22 in Colorado, with 234 stores overall.

A new study says the one and only Walmart in Chicago is costing the area more job opportunities.

A 69 year-old Walmart greeter who was punched in the face by a 23 year-old customer, was fired.

The grandson of President Richard Nixon may run for Congress in Long Island, the NY Post reports.

NYC's next health initiative, curb the salt.

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Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday Lunch Time One Liners...Tops offer to Penn Traffic accepted...

The construction of the new Fairway in Douglaston, Queens will begin May 1, 2010.

The Buffalo News is reporing that the Tops bid to purchase Penn Traffic's 79 supermarkets, has been agreed upon, the deal is reported to be for $85 Million. A hearing is set for 2 p.m. today at which the judge could possibly award a winning bid.  Read more at the Buffalo News.

Staten Island Live: Ode to supermarkets when local produce ends.

Meanwhile the Watertown Daily News is reporting that Penn Traffic Co. backed off its plan to seek approval today to liquidate many of its assets after objections were raised by U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer and the nation's second-largest food wholesaler.

UFCW Local 789 and Wal-Mart settle anti-union charge
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has settled charges lodged by a St. Paul-area union last summer that the giant discounter threatened to fire a worker at its Hastings store over his union activity.  Under the settlement agreement, Arkansas-based Wal-Mart has agreed to prominently post notice for 60 days inside the Hastings store that it promises not to frustrate or threaten to terminate workers in engaging in union activities, including the right to form or join a labor group. Wal-Mart has also agreed not to solicit employee grievances as a way to discourage workers from exercising their union rights. 

WakeupWalmart Blog: What does Walmart do with clothes it can't sell? Apparently at one store, they throw them out. And they don't just stick them in a bag so the next person who comes by might do with them what they want, they punch holes in them with a machine to ensure that no one can use them again.

New York City Council re-elects Christine Quinn as speaker. 

Recovery? 85,000 jobs lost in December.

And Wegmans is preparing to invade the capital region. 
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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Wednesday Morning One Liners...

Street sign at corner of Fifth Avenue and East...Image via Wikipedia

Local 1102 has filed an unfair labor charge against Saks following a move by the upscale retailer to eliminate 115 jobs in the cosmetics department of its Fifth Avenue store in New York at the end of this month.  , the Wall Street Journal reports.  A spokeswoman for the company said the decision "was completely unrelated to any union activity,"

CVS gears up for Employee Free Choice fight.

The absence of a supermarket in downtown Somerville, NJ, has community residents begging for anything.

ABC News: Price Wars, Decade's Best and Worst Industries

Harold Ford Jr. will challenge Kristin Gillibrand for Senate.

Bill Thompson has announced he will run for Mayor of NYC in 2013.

Advocates for the poor and working poor rallied Tuesday for a $10 minimum wage, jobs for welfare recipients and better ethics in state government. Read more at the Times Union.

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tuesday Morning One Liners...

The Penn Traffic Company logoImage via Wikipedia

Certain bargaining units in Colorado that voted to approve a new union contract with Safeway have signed contracts, a report said Monday.

The Gowanus Canal, once a prospective site for Whole Foods, is now being cleaned up, but may just remain as is, a hole. Brooklyn Paper has more.

The Hannaford Hacker has plead guilty.

A&P is distributing 2010 health-themed calendars packaged with $45 in coupon savings, “Live Better!” calendars — available at the pharmacy departments of the retailer’s A&P, Waldbaum’s, Pathmark and Super Fresh banners

UFCW Local 1 has filed an objection on Price Choppers' bid on the Penn Traffic company.  There is "no assurance that Price Chopper will continue to employ a single of Penn Traffic's employees," says the document filed by the union.
  • If a nonunionized company purchases Penn Traffic, it would be required to recognize a store's bargaining unit if it rehires more than 50 percent of a store's former employees.
  • Buffalo-based Tops Markets reportedly will join the contest to acquire Penn Traffic's 79 stores, with a bid of more than $90 million.
The Jewish Theater of New York announced Monday that anyone on food stamps or Medicaid can attend its upcoming production for just $5. Full-price tickets are $50.

If you haven't read the New Yorker's piece on John Mackey yet.
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Monday, January 4, 2010

Monday Morning One Liners..."Penn Traffic stores likely to be bought"

David Easlick1Image by UFCW Local 1500 via Flickr
New York State recovers record levels of illegally paid wages in 2009
Governor David A. Paterson today announced that New York State recovered record levels of illegally underpaid wages for workers in 2009. Through enhanced enforcement of existing labor laws, the State Department of Labor collected and disbursed $28.8 million to nearly 18,000 New York workers. For the second year in a row, these recovered wages represent the largest amount of money the Labor Department has collected and distributed in its 100 plus years of existence.

UFCW Local 1776 backs Tops' bid to purchase Penn-Traffic stores.

Whole Foods was the top food retail stock gainer in 2009.

"Most of Penn Traffic stores likely to be bought": Senator Chuck Schumer, NY.

Marley Coffee, the organic gourmet coffee company founded by Rohan Marley, son of legendary Bob Marley is now being distributed by Whole Foods Market.

Food retailers in NY are seeing higher costs in renovations due to last year's passage of the expanded 'bottle bill'.

Costco announces plans to open a store in Rego Park.

The NY Post reports that President Obama wants Patterson off the ticket.

Meanwhile Rep.Charles Rangel says Cuomo won't dare run against Patterson.

And Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy announced he will run against David Patterson.

Pedro Espada has plans for rent-stabilized apartments for families making less than $45,000 annually.

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