Grocery and Convenience Store Industry Alerts

Personnel Updates:

Bag 'N Save Supermarkets said that Louis Stinebaugh has been named President and CEO of the 12-store chain. Stinebaugh succeeds Jack Shrago, former president and owner, who has retired, and will report to Leon Shrago — Jack's younger brother — who is now chairman and owner.

David Kelly, A&P’s Senior VP Real Estate, is leaving the company to take a similar role at Rite Aid.  


Kroger Co. has appointed Reuben Shaffer, the company’s vice president of retail operations for the Cincinnati/Dayton division since 2001, to be its chief diversity officer, effective immediately.


FreshDirect co-founder Jason Ackerman has been named as the company’s CEO. Ackerman replaces Rick Braddock, the former Citibank exec who had served as FreshDirect’s CEO until last March, when he resigned at about the same time that Marks & Spencer invested $50 million in the company.


The Pantry, Inc. announced that Brad Williams, Senior VP of Operations has announced his decision to leave The Pantry.


Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co. has promoted Melody Hasch to Director of IT for both the retailer/wholesaler and its loyalty-program company, Greenbax Enterprises.


SPAR Group, Inc. announced that James H. Holden has been selected to be its President of their Canadian division, SPAR Canada Company.


Tedeschi Food Shops announced that it has hired Bob Goodwin to join its retail team as the company’s Director of Fresh Foods.


Mergers and Acquisitions:

7-Eleven Inc. has signed an agreement to operate 6 convenience store locations in VA for Workman Oil Co., Lynchburg, Va. The stores, located in Roanoke and Salem, VA will be re-branded as 7-Eleven operations. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.


Amcon Distributing Co. acquired L.P. Shanks Co. Inc. In Crossville, TN. The move will significantly increase its distribution presence in the Southeast.


The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company announced that it recently completed the previously announced auction of 25 southern Superfresh locations, as it continues to fully implement its comprehensive financial and operational restructuring. The winning bids, which are subject to approval from the bankruptcy court before the sales would be completed, will be listed in motions of the company to be filed with the court on May 27. The company anticipates closing the 13 remaining Superfresh locations that were not sold at auction. These locations are expected to be closed by mid-July, subject to approval by the court.


 The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company announced that it has finalized its acquisition of 5 New Jersey Shore-area Foodtown supermarkets previously owned by Norkus Enterprises Inc. The transaction involves stores in Freehold Township, Manalapan, Neptune City, Point Pleasant Beach and Long Branch. Stop &Shop currently operates 10 stores in Monmouth and Ocean counties.


Big Save Value Centers, a Hawaiian chain founded in 1958, is being sold to QSI, which operates as Times Supermarket. The latter has 17 stores in HI. Big Save stores in Eleele, Hanalei, Kapaa, Koloa and Waimea are expected to stay open, but the one in Lihue will close because a Times store operates nearby.

United Natural Foods (UNF) is selling its nonfoods business, which includes HBC product lines, to L&R Distributors Inc.

VPS Convenience Store Group, an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners, Inc., announced the acquisition of Virginia Oil Company, a fuel wholesaler and operator of 17 convenience stores in western VA.  With this acquisition, VPS now operates 419 stores in seven states (Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia) in the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest.

Industry Insight:

NCR Corp. plans to roll out "more than 800" new Blockbuster Express kiosks to Food Lion stores in 11 states.

Residents of Buffalo, N.D., will take over the sole grocery in town, purchasing 100 shares for $500 each. Wrangler's Foods will close, and the store will open June 1 as Buffalo Food Market, with employees expected to remain.

Technology News:

RaceTrac Petroleum Inc. has selected Radiant Systems Inc. to implement its c-store hardware and software solution. The company will use the P1560 POS terminals.


Green Initiatives:

Safeway’s store in the Georgetown section of Washington, D.C., has earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification from the U.S. Green Building Council

Personnel Updates:

Alon USA Energy Inc. has announced that effective May 3, 2011, Paul Eisman was named CEO of the company in addition to his role as President, and that Jeff Morris was named Vice Chairman of the board of directors and will continue to serve as an executive of the company.

Brookshire Grocery Co. named David Krause Senior VP of category management.

Joseph Kelley, a former Price Chopper executive, has been named CEO of Marsh Supermarkets. Frank Lazaran, chairman, president and CEO of Marsh, plans to step down at the end of the month for family-related reasons, the company said Tuesday.

Kroger has named Keith Dailey to be its new spokesman and Director of Corporate Communications.

Financial Focus:

Spartan Stores announced fiscal 2011 sales of $2.53 billion.

Tesco USA/Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market reported fiscal 2010 sales in the U.S. of $816 million.

Mergers and Acquisitions:

7-Eleven Inc. has purchased the 188 Wilson Farms convenience store chain.

High's of Baltimore Inc. sold 20 of its High's Dairy Stores to multiple buyers, including national consolidators, regional jobbers and individual store operators, according to Matrix Capital Markets Group Inc. The units were all directly operated by High's.

Sprouts Farmers Market has completed its merger with Henry's Farmers Market and Sun Harvest Farmers Market and plans to spend the next few months "carefully analyzing best practices and products [of each one] to become more than just the sum of our parts."  Henry's and Sun Harvest were sold to Sprouts by Smart & Final LLC. With the deal completed, Sprouts will operate 99 stores with estimated sales exceeding $1 billion.  

Tops Friendly Markets has asked the Federal Trade Commission for approval to sell 3 former P&C stores to a group headed by the former chief executive of their previous owner, Penn Traffic.

Industry Insight:

Associated Grocers of Maine has closed its operations and will liquidate its business after being placed in receivership.

Real Estate:

7-Eleven is planning to nearly double its number of stores in Hawaii to 100 during the next five years. The expansion will mean millions of dollars of investment for Seven-Eleven Hawaii Inc., which will employ twice as many people when all 100 stores are open, the report noted. Total head count would grow from 870 employees now to nearly 1,600, according to President and CEO Greg Hanna, who took over the top job at Seven-Eleven Hawaii in September.

Technology News:

Ahold USA is collaborating with manufacturer trading partners via the End-to-End Promotion Management system from DemandTec. Ahold USA also subscribes to DemandTec's Lifecycle Price Optimization system.

Green Initiatives:

Three Rite Aid stores in New England have received Energy Star certification from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Weis Markets said it cut energy use by 30% at a distribution center in Milton, PA by upgrading its lighting system. The system uses low-watt fluorescent and LED lighting, reducing kilowatt hours at the 1.1 million-square-foot facility from 6.4 million a year to 1.3 million.