Personnel Updates:
Associated Grocers of Floridasaid has named Christopher Miller President of the wholesale distribution company.
Big Y Foods has named John Pazahanick VP of Real Estate and Development, succeeding Frank Horacek, who the company said plans to retire in 2012. The company also named Richard Bossie Director of Operations and promoted Steve Nordstrom to District Director for the Central region.
Giant Eagle has named Laura Shapira Karet CEO and John Lucot President and COO. Both appointments are effective Jan. 9, 2012.  She will succeed her father, David Shapira, at the family-owned company. Shapira has been CEO since 1980. Karet, formerly CMO, also held brand-management jobs at Procter & Gamble. Giant Eagle said that John Lucot, its COO, will take on the additional role of company President.
Golub Corporation/Price Chopper Supermarketsofficially announced that Jerel T. Golub, current president and chief operating officer of the Golub Corporation, parent company of Price Chopper Supermarkets, will assume leadership as both President and CEO effective January 1, 2012. Golub has held positions of leadership in merchandising, marketing and finance throughout his nearly 30-year career with Price Chopper. At the same time, Neil Golub, the company’s current chief executive officer and chairman of the board, will serve as the family-managed company’s Executive Chairman of the board. Price Chopper also announced today the addition of Scott Grimmett, who will assume the role of Exec VP and COO.

Hy-Vee announced that Ric Jurgens, Chairman and CEO of Hy-Vee, plans to retire on June 1, 2012.

Murphy Oil announced that Kevin Fitzgerald was promoted to Exec VP and will continue to serve as CFO. In his new role, Fitzgerald reports to David Wood, Murphy Oil’s president and CEO. John Eckart was named SVP, and will remain as the company’s Controller.

Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co. said it has hired John M. Padgett as VP of Marketing for Piggly Wiggly and its Greenbax loyalty program, and has named Christopher Ibsen Director of Corporate Affairs.
Safeway announced that Al Duran, the company’s VP of Retail Initiatives, will be returning to the Denver division where he started in 1979, and will become President of that division.
Smart & Final Holdings Corp. that David G. Hirz, President and COO, will be named CEO effective Jan. 1, 2012 and will also become a member of the company’s board of directors. George Golleher, currently Chairman and CEO, will remain with the company as executive board Chairman.
Target has announced the promotion of Casey Carl to President of Multi-channel and SVP of Merchandising with immediate effect.
Tesco said Simon Uwins has left his position as Chief Marketing Officer of Fresh & Easy to pursue other interests. John Burry has been named to the new post of Chief Customer Officer, with oversight for all marketing, commercial and manufacturing functions.

Thorntons Inc. has named Tony Harris COO. In addition, John A. Zikias was promoted to VP of Category Management and supply chain for the fuel and merchandise categories; Rodney Lloyd was appointed Director of Brand Development and Strategic Initiatives; Jason Doyle is now Southern Division VP of Operations; and Matt Dabulis was promoted to Northern Division VP of Operations.

United Supermarkets announced the appointment of Robin Hawkins as the company’s first Health and Wellness Director. Hawkins, a registered and licensed dietitian, is said to bring “more than 12 years of health-related experience to the company.”
Financial Focus:
The Pantry Inc. reported fiscal 2011 sales of $8.138 billion.
Stater Bros Holdings Inc. reported fiscal 2011 sales of $3.7 billion.
Mergers and Acquisitions:

Neighbors Stores Inc. sold 11 of its 19 locations in North Carolina to Alimentation Couche-Tard’s Circle K Stores. The stores being sold are in high-traffic areas of Surry Countyas well as locations in Forsyth and Guilfordcounties, and while the company will retain other outlets locally, all company locations will eventually be sold.

Slidell Oil has acquired the assets of Interstate Oil, a Chevron wholesaler and retailer in Montgomery, AL. In operation for more than 80 years, Interstate Oil is a 45-million-gallon distributor, transporter and retailer, with 24 c-stores in and around the Montgomery metropolitan market.
Sobeys is acquiring 250 gas locations in Atlantic Canada and Quebecfrom Shell Canada. Approximately 200 of the sites are in Quebec, with the remainder in the Atlantic provinces.

Industry Insight:

Miller & Sons Supermarket, owned by Carl Miller who purchased Kalscheur’s Fine Foods in 2009 and renamed it, plans to build a larger store in Mount Horeb, WI. The store will be 40,000 square feet and replace the existing store, which is 26,000 square feet.

Stores in the TOP Food & Drug chain are being renamed Haggen and getting a new look and product mix. The Haggen family sold a majority stake in their namesake chain, with 28 stores, to investment firm Comvest, giving the company money to renovate, starting with the Bellevue, WAlocation.
Real Estate:
Albeco, Inc. is looking for growth opportunities the San Francisco Bay area of CA during the coming 18 months.  Typical leases run 35 years.  Preferred demographics include a population of 20,000 within one mile earning $100,000 as the average household income. 

Dahl’s Foods is looking for growth opportunities throughout its existing market IA during the coming 18 months.  The company prefers new construction opportunities. 

Kwik Trip, Inc. is looking for growth opportunities are sought throughout its existing markets in IA, MN and WI during the coming 18 months.  A land area of 60,000 sq. ft. is required.

Susser Holdings Corp. will accelerate its new retail store building program in 2012, with an estimated 25 to 30 Stripes convenience stores expected to be built next year. Susser has commenced an underwritten public offering of approximately 3.5 million shares of its common stock to fund the growth and other capital projects.

Tietgens Enterprises is looking for growth opportunities throughout its existing market of central TN during the coming 18 months.  The company prefers to acquire sites. 
Green Initiatives:

Giant Eagle installed electric vehicle chargers at Pittsburgh-area stores. Electric vehicle charging stations recently opened at three Pittsburgh-area Giant Eagle stores, the retailer said.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recognized Sweetbay Supermarket with Energy Star certification for continued energy consumption reductions at its stores as well as for its corporate commitment to promoting superior energy performance.

Supervalu announced that it has joined the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge, which aims to engage building operators nationwide in improving energy efficiency by 20% by 2020.