Thursday, October 28, 2010

Mid Week

A&P Seeks Enormous Givebacks:
United Food and Commercial Workers Local 464A here, John Niccolai, president of the local, said A&P was demanding pay cuts of up to $65 per week; higher worker costs for health care; a new new-hire program that would reduce pay scales and benefits; and the elimination of a part-time program. The union and A&P have further negotiations scheduled this week.

Meanwhile on the stock side for A&P, Investors have been taking note of some unusual trading with the A&P stock (GAP).

Another article on the grand opening of a Rockaway Stop & Shop.

A man from White Plains is suing Stop and Shop and Bumble Bee Tuna for Mercury poisoning.
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Thursday Morning One Liners

Unions in South Africa, are just as weary of Wal-Mart as we are in America.

More unusual trading for GAP (A&P).

A union representing warehouse workers and drivers demonstrated outside the headquarters of the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Co. in Montvale Wednesday over a decision by C&S Wholesale Grocers to supply the grocer from out of state.
The move, which is expected in February, will affect about 1,500 jobs, including about 300 drivers and 900 warehouse workers represented by the Teamsters, said Al Rispoli, secretary/treasurer of Local 863 in Mountainside.
"A&P can matter by saying to C&S "Work it out with the union and keep the jobs here'," Rispoli said.
Communities surrounding Stamford are very excited about the new Fairway Market opening this November.

The Stamford Times is also very eager to check out the new Fairway.
"I look at this as a second chance to start from the bottom and grow with the company," said the 51-year-old former furniture mover and lifelong Stamford resident.

Joseph Grosso: Wal-Mart & New York City
New Yorkers, in other words, could use lower costs where they can be found. However what New York doesn’t need is yet more low-paying, high turnover jobs, particularly ones that can negatively impact better paying jobs and further the income polarization in a city already lacking a solid middle class. This is where Wal-Mart takes a lot more than it gives proving that the cost for lowest prices is too great.
So while Wal-Mart continues to try to get into NYC, they're also making a bigger pitch for even more stores in India. Part of the pitch is promising to buy from more local Indian farmers.

They're also being sued for alleged water pollution in Buffalo: A federal lawsuit has been filed against Walmart, the City of North Tonawanda and the state Department of Transportation alleging water pollution violations during initial site preparation for a planned Supercenter.

And an employee from New Dorp ShopRite competes for the title of best bagger. 

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday Lunch Time One Liners:

After A&P's weak 2Q, they're seeking a new loan. [Supermarket News]

WSJ reported on Friday that the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co.  expects to wrap up a complex new loan in "weeks, not months," buying time for the struggling grocer to implement its turnaround plan of cutting costs, selling assets and lowering prices.

Crain's covers the new Stop & Shop supermarket which opens, Friday in Queens.  The store is one of the latest examples of a commercial project benefiting from federal tax-exempt funding.
The $23 million, 55,000-square-foot supermarket on the Rockaway Peninsula received $5.5 million in tax-exempt Recovery Zone bonds made available through the Obama administration's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  Great job by using Federal Funding to create good UNION jobs!

Plans for a new Riverhead Wal-Mart are moving ahead.
Must Read: Sunday Time Magazine: Walmart & Shoppers- Will Win This War
The Huffington Post looks at Walmart's big promise of "Local Food"

Walmart, back in the news again over accusations of exploitation of immigrant workers.

Last weekend it was Whole Foods' food storage problems, this weekend, the gourmet grocer Agata and Valentina decided to join the fun by storing some fish on the 1st Avenue.   Check out the photos at the Gothamist.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday Morning One Liners: Wakefern Targets NYC, Whole Foods' Meat Elevator, A&P 2Q

Report: Wakefern Targeting NYC Food Deserts

A&P reported their 2Q results and an update to their turnaround plan.
Sales for the second quarter were $1.9 billion versus $2.1 billion in last fiscal year's second quarter. Comparable store sales decreased 6.6 percent. For the second quarter, reported loss from continuing operations was $143 million versus last year's second quarter reported loss from continuing operations of $62 million. [Press Release] [Wall-Street Journal Report]
Yesterday, Activists against the proposed Wal-Mart in Brooklyn rallied at Borough Hall.

Sneak Peak @ Sayville's new Stop & Shop [Patch]

Whole Foods and their Meat Elevator has caused their customers to become aghast. Last week, a tipster sent The Gothamist a photo taken in a service elevator at the Union Square Whole Foods, where "cooked, prepared turkey breasts were being carted upstairs along side filthy garbage cans and employees with dirty dustbins."

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thursday Morning One Liners: Target's Metro Expansion

Wal-Mart Janitors are trying again to bring a Class-Action Suit against their employer, over wages and hours.
The suit, like the first, alleges janitors routinely worked seven days a week and were denied overtime pay, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act, and that Wal-Mart acquiesced in the illegal practices, in violation of the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act. Read more @
The Fresh Market's sales and Q3 earnings are soaring.

The Huffington Post: Wal-Mart's Baby Formula Scam

The Perishable Pundit asks if Wal-Mart's Local Farmer Initiative is just an innovative Public Relations Stunt.

Everything PR: Wal-Mart's PR Machine is Rolling.

Target revamps 3 more metro locations for fresh one-stop conveinece shopping in DC, Chicago and Dallas.

More than 100 Target stores in the Chicago, Dallas and Washington, D.C., metro areas have been redesigned to further deliver one-stop shopping convenience.

The Minneapolis-based retailer says the stores feature an open-market grocery layout stocked with a selection of fresh produce, fresh meat and baked goods. The new layout also includes reinventions in several other areas throughout the store such as beauty, home, shoes and electronics. More @ ProGrocer
Last Thursday, Target opened their new P-Fresh store in Commack, Long Island, completely stocked with not only their usual items but fresh produce, meats and other supermarket items

NACS: Supermarkets Address Changing Shopping Habits: Target, Wal-Mart, now a place for grocery

New Zoning in East Rockaway has been Approved, one more approval in March 2011for a new Pathmark....
The new plan focuses on the northern portion of the existing industrial zone, which includes the Berg properties, a CVS drug store and other buildings. The southern portion, which includes a Pathmark supermarket, will remain an industrial zone, awaiting potential further review after the March 2011 village election. The Commuter’s Club property, on the northeast side of the railroad tracks, will remain in the industrial zone

Contracts, Negotiations:
UFCW Local 1564 has agreed to a deal with Smith's out in New Mexico
More @ The Mexican

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Morning One Liners: Oct 17-19th

United Food and Commercial WorkersImage via Wikipedia
NY Daily News
: Residents Cheer as Stop & Shop brings Fresh Food and Affordable Prices to Far Rockaway.

Wal-Mart wants to do what!? Wal-Mart seeks to stock up on more 'local produce'

More @ Bizmology

The Gawker, who is gearing up for Wal-Mart's crusade into 'urban markets' with smaller stores, is doing a series of posts entitled 'The Life at Wal-Mart, Workers Speak', where Wal-Mart workers send in their experiences at Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart's smaller store format vs. Target's P-Fresh...Who wins in the smaller format spotlight?

Supermarket News covers the Gristedes bid on Food Emporium.

The Fresh Market opens their 100th store.

A&P has launched an Online Magazine...


Kroger and UFCW Local 75's negotiations are primarily focusing on Health Care.

On Friday, workers at 9 Loblaw Cos. stores approved a contract, averting a strike after they rejected the same deal one week prior.  More than 1,700 workers are affected by the agreement.
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Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Morning One Liners: Gristedes Makes a Push toward Food Emporium, Beef with Wal-Mart why not Target?

Castimatidis: “it's no secret that we have interest in [Food Emporium].”
According to a report from Crain's John Castimatidis, owner of Gristedes is apparently the front runner and highest bidder in the Food Emporium fire sale.

The Crain's article also comments on D'Agostino's struggles:

Separately, family-owned D'Agostino's grocery-store chain is selling its only three stores in Westchester, according to a company insider. Those stores, located in Chappaqua, Rye Brook and Cross River, have struggled against competitors like Whole Foods, Super Stop & Shop and others, said supermarket consultant Burt Flickinger.

Very interesting piece in the Wall Street Journal: In the Cities That Battle Wal-Mart, Target gets a Welcome.

The Gawker looks at what Wal-Mart would mean for New York.

A&P is shuttering stores today in Yorktown, NY, two others  in the Philadelphia area (Pathmark in Broomall, PA loses108 jobs lost & a SuperFresh in Hatfield, PA), another Pathmark in Millville, NJ where Wal-Mart has actually proposed to a 40,000 sqft store w/ grocery to fill the vacant space.

Some good news though, the UFCW Canada's victory at Saskatchewan Wal-Mart was upheld, unanimously, in court yesterday.

The Grand Opening and celebration party for the new Rockaway Stop & Shop is slated for October 21.

The Windsor Star: Strike continues to loom in second local Loblaw vote

Other Bargaining News:
Unionized workers at Walt Disney World voted against a proposed labor contract Thursday, despite the largest of the resort's unions coming out in support of the contract before the vote.

And in Politics Frank Padavan, out raises and is out spending Tony Avella.
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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thursday Afternoon News: Waldbaum's Closes Friday, More News from A&P

Waldbaum's in Levittown Closes Friday, Shoppers Forced Elsewhere
Levittown, NY--Though the store's closing has been known for quite some time, there is still no answer as to what will take its place. Rumor of a ShopRite have not been confirmed. 

Wall Street Journal: Grocery Chains Increase Ad Spending Amid Price War
Chains including Safeway and A&P are touting price cuts on thousands of items, a double whammy to profits: spending to entice customers to come in for lower-priced items. 

Meanwhile, Big Y, who purchased seven stores from A&P in Connecticut, is set to reveal their plans for the stores this week.  

Supermarket News covers the possible strike at Food Basics in New Jersey.

A&P Seeks Advice from Wall-Street Journal on Debt.

SN: Wal-Mart Confirms: Smaller Stores in Urban Areas Ahead....

They also announced that they'll spend a modest $13.5-$14.5 billion in capital spending next year, a 3.7% increase from 2010.

Wal-Mart to Boost Locally Sourced Fresh Food
Wal-Mart is planning to double the sales of fresh produce it sources from local farms in its U.S. stores by the end of 2015. 

Daily Finance: 5 Fun Facts About Wal-Mart
The Top-line numbers don't convey just how massive Wal-Mart really is. To further understand this retail giant, here are some fun facts that help illustrate its heft...

Wal-Mart's Holiday Wish: Better Sales
Although the world's largest retailer has been losing sales to its competitors this year, they expects sales to improve in the critical holiday shopping season. "We expect positive sales results in the fourth quarter"- Mike Duke, Wal-Mart's CEO

Whole Foods raises a bunch of cash to improve school lunches.
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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Mid Week News: A&P Stock Falls 18% in Early Trades Wednesday....

Shares of long struggling supermarket operator Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co.  (GAP 3.40, -0.58, -14.57%) dropped 18% to $3.25 in early trade Wednesday. The Wall Street Journal reported the New Jersey-based parent of the A&P supermarket chain has been reaching out to investment banks to restructure its heavy debt load

More Problems for A&P...Food Basics Workers May Strike
The chain’s contract with Local 464A of the Little Falls-based United Food and Commercial Workers expires at midnight Saturday, and the chance of reaching a settlement “doesn’t look good,” said John Niccollai, the union president.  The struggling A&P supermarket chain may face another problem: a potential strike by 900 employees at its eight North Jersey Food Basic stores.

ShopRite Design Changes To Be Unveiled
Wyckoff,NJ-- ShopRite representatives revised their renderings of the more than 62,000-square-foot supermarket. 

ShopRite Plans their 8th Maryland Store
ShopRite will open its first location in Anne Arundel County, Md., later this year. The supermarket has signed a lease to locate in a former Kmart site. 

Forecasters Project Value-Driven Holiday Season
"While consumers have shown they are once again willing to spend on what's important to them, they will be very conscientious about price."

After Chicago Win, Will Wal-Mart Look to New York?
Wal-Mart won the right to open two more stores in Chicago this year, but does that mean the world's largest retailer can eventually take Manhattan?

Wal-Mart Buys Raw Materials With Suppliers
Wal-Mart said its plans to join with its suppliers in buying raw goods to reduce costs, according to published reports. 

Sandy Pope, president of a Teamsters local in New York City and one of the most prominent women in the union, announced on Monday that she would challenge James P. Hoffa for the presidency.
Wal-Mart to End Employee Profit-Sharing in February
Wal-Mart plans to end profit-sharing contributions in February, replacing them by matching some of the dollars employees put in their 401(k) retirement plans to pare expenses. 
Meanwhile, they're expecting "positive" 4Q sales.

New Walmart Supercenter May Face Suit after owner says construction of the mega-store has "all but bankrupted" his business, and he is seeking compensation.

- Says Canadian UFCW in the wake of yet another accident involving farm workers. 

In NY News:

Governor Patterson is looking at more layoffs

More bad news for New Yorkers: NY Confronts $200 Billion Bill for Retiree Health Costs

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Friday, October 8, 2010

Friday Afternoon News: Is Fairway the New Supermarket King?

Stop & Shop Union Wary of Potential Job Cuts 
Freetown, NY--Local officials say they're paying attention and are concerned about potential job losses at Freetown's Shop & Stop Distribution Center as a result of recent comments by union officials representing those workers. 

NY Press: Fairway Angling to Become the Dons of the Gourmet Grocery World
The battlefield of overpriced grocery stores can be an ugly place and now, small grocery chair Fairway Market wants to elbow their way into the fray. 

King Kullen to Shutter a Third S.I. Store
The company filed a WARN notice with the New York state Department of Labor, indicating that it will close its store on Arden Ave., where it has a staff of 72, by the end of the year. 

King Kullen Coming to Island Park

Wall Street Journal: Union Expects 9 Loblaw Stores in Ontario to Strike
Toronto-- The UFCW union expects workers at nine Loblaw stores in southwestern Ontario to go on strike Friday after they voted against last weekend's tentative agreement. 

Conway Says Walmart Pushed Her on Living-Wage Issue
A Baltimore City Councilwoman says she has backed out of talks with Walmart officials about worker pay at a proposed store in Remington after they asked her to withdraw her support for a bill that would require all major retailers to pay a "living wage". 

Wal-Mart Warns of Democratic Win
Wal-Mart is mobilizing its store managers and department supervisors around the country to warn that if Democratics win power in November, they'll likely change federal law to make it easier for workers to unionize companies- including Wal-Mart. 

Union Opposes Walmart Expansion
A Rep of UFCW Local 152 said the union will raise objections to the company's proposed 40,000-square foot  addition plans to add a full grocery component, including produce, deli and bakery sections, and keep the store open 24 hours. 

Monday, October 4, 2010

Weekend News: Fairway Market Coming to UES, Aldi Says Vandals Compromised Payments

AFL-CIO Blog: "America Is One Nation and We Signify that Nation"
Nearly 200,000 people joined together on Saturday for the One Nation Working Together march. "It's important that we make jobs the priority in this country and not all of the other issues that are dividing us."

Aldi Says Vandals Compromised Payments
Grocery chain Aldi says the names, account numbers and secret codes of customers in 11 states were exposed to potential theft when they used payment cards at machines that had been tampered with. 

A&P Debuts New Store in New Providence
Montvale,NJ-- "This store offers an expansive selection of grocery products and freshly prepared foods at every day low prices."

Wall Street Journal: Fairway Market Coming to the Upper East Side
With more than 45,000 square feet, the store will open in 2011 on E.86th St., between Second and Third avenues, a former Barnes & Noble site with steady foot traffic. 

UFCW President Applauds Senate Democrats 
UFCW President Joe Hansen released a statement in response to the introduction of comprehensive immigration reform legislation by Senate Democrats. "The legislation announced today would chart a new course for our country: A course that protects workers, respects families and reflects our nation's rich immigrant tradition."

Humana and Wal-Mart Forming Co-Branded Low-Cost Prescription Drug Plan
Walmart and health insurer Humana Inc. build an alliance to offer a low-cost Medicare Part D prescription drug plan that they say will be the cheapest on the market in 2011. 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Afternoon News: Countdown To One Nation, Little Falls ShopRite Helps "Bag" Hunger

Countdown to One Nation
Nearly 200 progressive groups, including the UFCW Local 1500, AFL-CIO, NAACP and many other unions, have come together in One Nation; a multiracial, labor, civil and human rights movement whose mission is to reorder our nation's priorities to invest in our nation's most valuable resource- our people. 

Little Falls ShopRite Helps "Bag" Hunger
Little Falls,NJ-- "ShopRite's commitment to this cause is unwavering, and with everyone's assistance, we can continue to raise awareness of the issue of hunger for the citizens of our community."

P Fresh in Commack North Target on Track
Target will unveil its new supermarket- P Fresh- on Oct. 17th and everything is on schedule with limited complications. 

East Rutherford One Step Closer To A New Supermarket
The Borough Council has amended a zoning ordinance to help the supermarket, Aldi, move to the Liberty Commons mall. 

Plans Of A Farmers Market By Stop & Shop Sparks Controversy
Ossining, NY-- Protests erupted this weekend over plans to build a farmers market in a parking lot adjacent to a Stop & Shop. The proposal to sell fruits and vegetables to locals has divided a town and launched a nationwide discussion about the place of locally grown produce in America.

Target Targets 10 Stores
Target recently notified that it will open 10 new stores across the country, including Flushing, Queens, on October 10th. The stores will help generate more than 2,400 jobs. 

Another Union Vote For Foxwoods Engineers
A trade union seeking to represent employees of Foxwoods Resort Casino's engineering department will pursue an election at the casino for the second time in less than five months- and the third time overall. 

Expansion Ahead For Millville Walmart
Millville, NJ-- Walmart spokesman Bill Wertz said the addition will enable the store to add a full grocery section, including a bakery, deli counter and fresh produce. 

Wal-Mart Names New CFO as Schoewe Plans to Leave
CFO, Tom Schoewe's retirement is the latest in a series of changes in the executive ranks at Wal-Mart, which is trying to turn around sluggish U.S. sales fueled by a tough economy and merchandising problems. 

BJ's Developer Sells Site Days Before Store Opens
Falls Church, VA--The Developer of BJ's Wholesale Club in Seven Corners, has announced that it has sold the property to another developer only days before the retail store is due to open for business.