Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mid Week News: Fresh Direct Expands Into 29 Towns, King Kullen Closing Island Store

Fresh Direct Expands Into 29 Towns in Union, Essex Counties
The online grocer that aims to revolutionize the way Americans stock their kitchens, will announce its expansion into two more suburban counties in New Jersey to triple the number of towns it serves.

King Kullen Closing Island Store 
Staten Island,NY-- King Kullen is closing its Arden Heights store less than three years after it increased its presence on Staten Island by purchasing five supermarkets there. "Unfortunately, King Kullen could not come to an agreement with the landlord over terms of a new lease. As a result, the store will be closing at the end of December 2010."

Oscar Mayer Workers Ratify New Contract
"We got wage incresases for each of the next four years, and they are retroactive back to July when the old contract expired."- Lois Taylor, secretary treasurer of UFCW Local 431

Target Downgraded at Credit Suisse
Credit Suisse downgraded Target to "neutral" from "outperform", citing concerns over operating margins. "Even if the potential of P-Fresh and the new rewards program is realized, it will be a challenge for Target to exhibit the same level of sales growth experienced earlier this decade."

Target Ordered to Stop Dumping Hazardous Waste
A Superior Court Judge's injunction follows a civil lawsuit filed last year alleging that more than 240 Target stores in California improperly disposed of hazardous materials over a five-year period.

Massmart Meets Unions on Walmart Offer
Massmart executives have contacted labor unions regarding the offer by global retail giant Wal-Mart to purchase the local company for R30 billion. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Weekly News Round Up- 9/20-9/27: Little Box? Mini Wal-Mart Might Be Headed To Your Neighborhood

Trader Joe's Opens to Excited Upper West Siders
Leis and steel drum musicians greeted shoppers as they ventured down escalators to the the subterranean floors featuring the store's signature groceries and competitive prices. 

Fresh Foods Boost Target Sales
As Target tries to "engineer a rejuvenation of top-line performance," the addition of P-fresh departments at existing discount stores has the potential to boost comparable-store sales by up to 1%. 

Target Unveils Small-Store Plans
Officials of the company revealed the plans at a press event. The urban stores, measuring 60,000 to 100,000 square feet would focus on basic necessities. 

Pathmark Store in Monsey Prepares to Close
Monsey, NY-- A supermarket that has long served a diverse area of Rockland will close, leaving low-income residents- many of whom lack cars- a few options for buying groceries. 

Retailers Weigh In On Possible Plastic Bag Ban
Wilton,CT-- "The hope is that this Plastic Bad Ordinance will be a positive step for Wilton to adopt as an environmentally friendly initiate."

A&P Launches New Rewards Program 
Montvale, NJ-- A&P, Walbaums and SuperFresh stores operated by A&P here have launched a new rewards program offering 5% discount certificates for every $300 in qualified store purchases. 

A&P Elects Thomas Casey to The Company's Board of Directors

Kroger and UFCW Local 75 Ratify Agreement
"This agreement provides our associates one of the best total compensation packages in our industry. It includes good wages, high-quality affordable health care and a pension when they retire." - Bruce Macaulay, President of Kroger's Columbus Division. 

More Aldi Customers See Money Missing From Accounts
Indianapolis, IN-- More victims of debit card security breach affecting the Aldi supermaket chain are coming forward and they say their money is being stolen in California.

Aldi Delays Distribution Centre Due to Planning
Discount retail giant Aldi has blamed planning difficulties affecting its nationwide expansion plans for its decision to postpone the opening of a massive regional distribution centre in the south by two years 

Aldi Store Opens in Milford CT
Aldi opened its doors yesterday after two years in the making, giving shoppers a snapshot of the future store. 

ShopRite Donates to Veteran Organizations
ShopRite has donated $20,000 to benefit three non-profit veteran organizations aiding service men and women and their families in the Metropolitan area. 

Little Box? Mini Wal-Mart May Be Headed To Your Neighborhood
Big box store, Wal-Mart, is trolling New York City for retail space to open miniature versions of its national superstores. 

Wall Street Journal: Wal-Mart Uses FedEx to Expand Urban Push
Walmart Stores Inc. is experimenting with allowing customers to buy merchandise online and have it delivered free to urban FedEx locations, a bid to boost sales in big cities where the retailer has little or no store presence. 

Wal-Mart Offers $4 Billion for S.Africa's Massmart
Wal-Mart is in talks to buy South Africa's Massmart, a $4 billion deal that would give the retailer a big presence in fast-growing Africa and bolster its emerging markets strategy. 

Walmart Decision Delay Again
The delay would give commissioners time to prepate lists of the additional information they said they want before deciding whether to certify the Environmental Impact Report and approve the project's development plan.

Wal-Mart Sets Sights on San Francisco
As a part of its new "urban strategy" the world's largest retailer, Wal-Mart is looking to open two dozen stores in the Bay Area 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Weekend News: Stop & Shop Union Wins City's Support, White House Appoints UFCW President Joe Hansen

Stop & Shop Union Wins City's Support Amid Fear of Job Losses
New Bedford, MA--Union President Sean M. O'Brien said he was concerned the company will continue to move work to cheaper, out-of-state locations. "This is the dress rehearsal to what I believe to be further movement of middle-class jobs," said O'Brien. The grocery chain recently moved the servicing of 34 stores from the Freetown facility to a non-union distribution center in New York, according to officials from Teamsters Local 25, which represents the workers. 

White House Appoints UFCW President Joe Hansen
Joe Hansen, President of the 1.3 million member United Food and Commercial Workers Union has been appointed to the United States Trade Representative's Advisory Committee for Trade Policy. 

Merger Creates Largest Union of Retail Workers in Minnesota
"Growing our union, negotiating good contracts and helping workers form and join a union will be the priorities of the new organization,"- Don Seaquist, President of Local 1189

AFL-CIO: We're Building A Movement From The Grassroots
Between now and Nov.2, the nation's union members will mount the largest-ever non-party-based political mobilization to elect candidates who will fight for working families- especially when it comes to jobs and continuing to fix an economy broken by the failed polices of the past. 

Aldi Plans First Interior Mall Site
CHICAGO-- The 20,000-square-foot store is being specially designed to accommodate an interior entrance at the Chicago Ridge mall. "We plan to expand this concept throughout our U.S. portfolio and are currently talking to a number of grocers."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mid Week News: Employees Declare Victory At Mott's, A&P Looks at Layoffs

Employees Declare Victory at Mott's Clamato Plant
UFCW Local 220 ratified a new contract, ending a three and a half month strike. The new agreement restores wage levels, maintains affordable health care, and continues the pension plan.
More at: Mott's Victory

Loblaw Workers Could Strike Next Month
Some 30,000 Loblaw workers in Ontario are set to strike if a new labor settlement is not reached by early October. 

Senator Gillibrand Calls for Recall Law
After a massive recall of salmonella-tainted eggs, Gillibrand announces new legislation to let shoppers know when they've purchased recalled food. "The current system to notify consumers is completely antiquated," said Gillibrand, "In America, in 2010 it is unconscionable that we don't have an effective way to let consumers know about recalls."

Stop & Shop to Provide 1 Million Meals for Local Families
The donation will provide more than one million meals to children and families in need through Stop & Shop Family Foundation, which is created to raise money to combat hunger, childhood cancer and fund children's education and supper programs. 

Stop & Shop's Peapod Unveils a new Mobil App, a free app which allows users to compile their grocery shopping lists...
"Imagine grocery shopping while riding the subway to work, or adding milk to your grocery list from the soccer field."

Wegmans Stops Selling Reusable Bags After Lead Test
Wegmans will post notice in its 76 stores and on their website offering consumers a replacement. More than 725,000 bags were sold at stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia and Maryland.

Video on the reusable bags: One Page News

Big Y Acquires 7 A&P Stores
"This may be a real estate strategy in which they operate maybe three of the stores, and let the leases expire on the rest to eliminate a competitor."

400 A&P Workers Facing Layoffs
More than 400 Connecticut A&P supermarket workers are facing layoffs, including 77 Middletown, when the chain's parent company closes several stores by November 1. 

Wal-Mart Remodeling Many Wholesale Clubs
Wal-Mart to remodel 150 of its 600 Sam's Clubs to better compete with rivals such as Costco.

Wal-Mart Targeted by Labor Union
UFCW International is urging the Obama administration to broaden its antitrust inquiry into mean, dairy and seed businesses to include the retailer. Wal-Mart's defenders say its policies benefit consumers, ensuring them low prices. 

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday Quick News: Victory Stella D'Oro Workers

Crain's New York: A bittersweet win for former Stella D'Oro workers
Workers who lost their jobs when Stella D'oro Biscuit Co. shuttered its Bronx plant last year could get millions in back pay and benefits as a result of a recent decision handed down by the National Labor Relations Board.

The ruling confirms that the 136 workers were driven to embark on a yearlong strike by the company, and orders Stella D'oro to fork over back pay, with interest, as well as benefits for the two-month period after the workers offered to return to the job in May 2009, and before the company took them back in July.

Huntington Patch: Wild By Nature's 10-Year Anniversary
Wild By Nature received a proclamation at Town Hall on Tuesday to commemorate its 10th anniversary in Huntington. The store, an independent subsidiary of the King Kullen Grocery Company, has three other locations on Long Island outside its Main Street location. UFCW represents all of the Wild By Nature stores.

Investors aren't impressed with Wal-Mart.

And NY State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli continues to warn New Yorkers that the State is running on empty.  He predicted the current spending rate will produce budget gaps of $15.6 billion by 2013-14 and a cumulative gap of $37 billion through 2013-14.  

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Weekly News: One Million Women vs Walmart, 3 Month Mott's Strike on CBS News

CBS News:
 Mott's Demands Pay Cuts Despite $555M Profit
Three hundred union members are locked in a heated dispute, symbolizing a new shift in the powe struggle between management and labor in America.

More from AFL CIO Blog:
Mott's Corportation Greed: Rotten to the Core

The world's largest private employer will try to shoot down the largest employment discrimination class- action lawsuit in American history. 

The mega retailers is preparing for the United States to lose its title as the world's largest economy to China in coming years and plotting ways to take advantage of the growing middle class in the world's most populous nation. 

Ending Slave Labor: Will Trader Joe's Agree to Fair Food?
Trader Joe's, as well as other grocery chains, have yet to sign on to the Fair Food Campaign to protect farm workers and provide livable wages. 

The Upper East Side will get a Fairway: Fairway to Open Upper East Side Location in fall 2011

Great Atlantic Mulling Sale of Food Emporium Chain
The supermarket operator has said it will consider selling "non-core assests" to improve liquidity. 

Stop & Shop Slams A&P in Lawsuit Response
The drama continues, In response to a lawsuit filed, Stop & Shop said that advertisements comparing its prices with A&P were not misleading. 

Big Y to Buy 7 A&P Stores
Big Y Foods said Wednesday it has agreed to acquire seven A&P supermarkets in northern Connecticut. 

State Will Help Fill Gap For ShopRite Supermarket
Somerville, NJ-- The state of New Jersey will help bridge the gap between what the banks will lend and the amount needed to convert the little, old Pathmark into a big, new ShopRite.

ShopRite Launches Retail Grocery Andriod App
"Our customers are on-the-go more than ever, and by teaming up with MyWebGrocer we continuue to make their busy lives easier," - ShopRite VP of marketing Cheryl Williams.

Customers can pre-order their groceries online, and pick them up at a special curbside pickup spot at the store.

CNN: Democrats to the President: Get a Clear Message
"It just seems like there's a disconnect right now with how Obama is trying to move his agenda and how it really will help people,"- Tony Helfer, President of UFCW Local 23

Union Representatives Protest Outside Bridgeton IGA
Bridgeton, NJ-- Representatives of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 152 are accusing the owner of unfair labor practices. 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Thursday News Afternoon: Is A&P Mulling the Sale of Food Emporium?

Wall Street Journal:
A&P Mulls Selling Food Emporium Chain (subscription required)

A&P supermarket chain is considering selling its Food Emporium stores as part of a boarder effort to rid itself of some assets and boost its liquidity.

More at the New York Times

Egg Contamination: Grocers Getting The Word Out
Though media reports have made clear that none of the affected eggs were shipped to New York State, grocers such as Tops and Wegmans have gone out of their way to assure customers the eggs in their coolers are safe. 

Kroger Employees Agree to Sept. 15 Contract Extension
The contract affects about 1,900 workers who authorized their union to take any action necessary, up to and including a strike to reach a contract they feel is fair. 
 In New Jersey, and throughout New Yok, Shoppers are Dismayed at Pathmark's Closing News

Grocery Stores Increase Social Networking
 Wal-Mart and Target are fighting for the mantle of top supermarket chain with the most social media followers. "Each has added over 500,000 followers to Facebook in the last four months."

Upscale Grocery Store Approved
An application was approved for the Fresh Market in Montvale, New Jersey.  

Ithaca Journal: Planning Board OKs Aldi Store
Town of Vestal Planning Board members unanimously approved a proposed Aldi supermarket at Four Corners. 

UFCW Blog:  Giant Eagle Worker Arrested for Talking to other Workers on Her Own Time

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wednesday News: BJ's Recall,

BJs Wholesale Club Recalls Ground Beef
A ground beef recall due to possible E.coli contamination includes distribution to BJ's Wholesale Club in eight states. Approximately 8,500 pounds of ground beef were recalled. 

BJ's May Close Store
WESTBORO, Mass-- After a more than 20- year presence, BJ's Wholesale Club in Westboro may close next year, when the company opens a bigger store less than 2 miles away. 

Seattle Times: Costco Bans Treatment of Veal Calves
Costco Wholesale decried the treatment of veal calves by a supplier in Ohio, saying the company did not know about it before seeing video taken by the activist group Mercy for Animals. 

Hannaford " Coming Soon" to Lake Placid

Whole Foods Keeps Promise to Buy Locally
"One of our goals is to have the fewest amount of miles between growers and stores- especially our fruits and vegetables"- Michael Sinatra, Whole Foods Market Northeast Public Relations Coordinator 

Tuesday's Afternoon News: Balducci's Makes an NYC Comeback

Wal-Mart Stores Appeal Sex Discrimination Case
The world's largest retailer has asked the Supreme Court to halt a mammoth sex-discrimination case brought by its women workers, according to a court filing. 

NY Post: Union Makes State Senate Democrats Return Walmart Money

State Senate Democrats have bowed to pressure from furious labor leaders and returned a controversial $15,000 campaign contribution they received from Walmart. 

Buffalo News: Deli Meat Only Sold at Walmart Recalled
About 380,000 pounds of Buffalo-made deli meat sold only at Walmart has been voluntarily recalled after a sample tested positive for harmful bacteria. 

Food Worker Unions Merge, Raising Bargaining Power
Two food and commercial workers union locals will merge to form the largest food workers union in Minnesota. 

Kroger and United Food and Commercial Workers Local 204 Ratify
Roanoke, VA-- Associates of Kroger's Mid- Atlantic Division have ratified and agreement with United Food and Commercial Workers Local 204. The agreement covers 2,000 associates working in 18 stores. 

Herold Online: Kroger Workers Reject Contract
MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich-- Workers at 17 Kroger stores overwhelmingly rejected the company's contract offer, authorizing their union to take any action necessary, up to and including a strike, to reach a fair contract. 

North Bergen Pathmark to Close by End of October
The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company Inc., which owns Pathmark, announced that the company was closing nine Pathmarks in New Jersey as a party of the company's "comprehensive turnaround"

A&P Names O'Boyle EVP
A&P names Tom O'Boyle to the position of executive vice president. "His appointment completes my dynamic executive management team which will lead our Company's turnaround initiative."A&P President and CEO Sam Martin
Stop & Shop and A&P in Ad Fracas

Price wars between supermarkets are tumbling off the shelves into courtrooms.

Trader Joe's To Open Upper West Side
The new location will open September 20th at 72nd and Broadway

The Real Deal: Balducci's Planning a NYC Comeback