Personnel Updates:
Central Grocers has hired Kenneth W. Nemeth as Exec VP and COO.
Hannaford Supermarkets CEO Ron Hodge will move to parent company Delhaize Group to become CEO of the North American operation. His move comes as Delhaize shutters the Bloom banner and closes 113 Food Lion stores, eliminating 5,000 jobs.
Kum & Go LC COO Dennis N. Folden announced on Wednesday his plans to retire from the company later this summer. The company is launching an internal and external search for a new COO.
Meijer announced the appointment of J.K. Symancyk to the newly created role of COO for the company, along with the addition of Peter Whitsett to the Meijer team as Exec VP merchandising and marketing.
The Pantry announced that Dennis G. Hatchell will become President and CEO effective March 5, 2012. Mr. Hatchell previously served as Vice Chairman of Alex Lee, Inc.
Safeway announced that it has named Lori Raya President of its Vons Division.The 25-year employee is replacing Tom Keller, who is retiring
SUPERVALU INC. announced it has named Michael Moore, Exec VP and Chief Marketing Officer. Moore was named to the top marketing post following this week’s decision by Julie Dexter Berg to leave the company and return to the West Coast.
Sunoco Inc. announced today that Lynn L. Elsenhans, will step aside as CEO and president and Brian P. MacDonald, SVP and CFO, will become president, CEO and a director of Sunoco, effective March 1, 2012. Elsenhans will remain chairman of Sunoco Inc. and Sunoco Logistics Partners LP until Sunoco’s annual meeting of shareholders in May 2012, at which time MacDonald will become chairman of Sunoco and Sunoco Logistics Partners.
Target is promoting John Mulligan, SVP for Finance, to be its new CFO. He succeeds Doug Scovanner, who has been CFO at Target for 18 years.
Winn-Dixie Stores said that Peter Lynch, the Chairman, President and CEO will resign from the company following the completion of its planned merger with Bi-Lo, according to local reports. Winn-Dixie’s CFO, Bennett L. Nussbaum, will step down from that role following the company’s merger with grocery-store operator Bi-Lo. Brian Carney, Exec VP and CFO at Bi-Lo, will take on that role for the combined companies. Nussbaum reportedly will remain at the company leading integration efforts.

Whole Foods Market announced that two Regional Presidents, David Lannon and Ken Meyer, have been promoted to Exec VP of Operations, joining the executive leadership team. The company’s 12 Regional Presidents will report to them. Michael Besancon, Senior global VP purchasing, distribution and communications will retire from the company after more than 17 years of service.

Financial Focus:

Weis Markets reported fiscal 2011 sales of $2.8 billion.

Mergers and Acquisitions:

7-Eleven plans to return to the greater Charlotte area through a deal to acquire 55 Sam’s Mart stores in North and South Carolina and convert them to 7-Elevens this year. The company operated stores in the region from 1964 until 1988. It exited that market and several others in the late 1980s after a leveraged buyout.

Belle Foods LLC, a company formed by industry veteran Bill White, said  that it has agreed to acquire the Southern Family Markets chain.
Speedway LLC has reached an agreement to acquire all 88 operating locations of GasAmerica Services Inc.The convenience stores are located throughout Indianaand Ohio. The deal also includes several parcels of undeveloped land for future development.
Industry Insight:
Smillie’s Market, an independent grocer in Springfield MO will close by the end of summer after more than 19 years. The decision was made not to extend the lease, according to Bill Smillie, who owns the store with wife Sharon.
Wakefern Food Corp. announced that it has been chosen by New York City-based Food Bazaar Supermarkets to fulfill its dairy, frozen food, grocery, health and beauty, non-foods and specialty grocery product needs for its 16 locations throughout New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Additionally, Food Bazaar has been approved to carry the ShopRite private label line of products, including its Specialty Imported items, in all of its stores.
Real Estate:

Demoulas Supermarkets, Inc is seeking growth opportunities throughout its existing markets of MA and NH, as well as ME and RI, during the coming 18 months, with representation by RMD, Inc.  A typical lease runs 40 years or 60 years for ground leases.  The company prefers to build sites. 
Han Dee Hugos convenience stores is seeking growth opportunities throughout its existing market during the coming 18 months. A typical lease runs three years. A vanilla shell and specific improvements are required. Preferred demographics are a population of 10,000 within two miles earning $20,000 as the average household income.
H-E-B will expand or open 22 stores in Texas and remodel 33 other locations and open its largest store in San Antonio this year and several in northern Mexico. In Mexico, the company plans to open five stores, raising the number of stores in the country to 44.
Prima Marketing LLC is selling 22 operating and closed convenience stores plus four excess retail pad sites that it currently owns, leases or operates. The properties are located in West Virginia and nearby areas of Pennsylvaniaand Ohio. Chicago-based NRC Realty & Capital Advisors LLC will be coordinating the sale, conducted using NRC’s “buy one, some or all” sealed bid sale process. The bid deadline is March 22, 2012.
Swiss Farms Stores plans to open drive-thru grocers along the East Coast, including five in Charlotte, NC. The retailer, which opened its first store in 1968 solely for drive-thru, is expanding because “we felt for years they’ve been able to enjoy drive-thru convenience and have a niche in the market place,” said Rocco Fiorentino, president of Swiss Farms Franchise.
Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. is looking sites for plans to open three stores in MA, MD, NJ, NH, PA or VA during the next 18 months.  A typical lease runs 20 years with options.  Preferred demographics include a population of 50,000 within three miles earning $75,000 as the average household income.  A land area of 12 to 18 acres is required for freestanding locations.  The company prefers to acquire sites or ground-lease sites. 

Green Initiatives:

Nine Hannaford Supermarkets stores were recognized as Environmental Leaders by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, joining one store each in Augustaand South Portland. Store features include water-saving restroom fixtures, donations to food banks and pantries, composting, use of energy-efficient lighting and heat capture from the refrigeration system.

Stop & Shop has cut costs and received over $4 million in utility incentives through use of efficient lighting and ECM’s.

Supervalu said four Albertsons stores in the Seattlearea have achieved a “zero waste” classification after diverting more than 90% of all waste away from landfills.