Personnel Updates:

Ahold USA has named Mark McGowan, formerly the company’s Exec VP of Supply Chain, to be Exec VP of Merchandising, Ahold USA.

Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc announced that Joseph Chiovera has left his role as VP of Foodservice.

Golub Corporation announced that Paul Beletsky, most recently with Wakefern/Shop-Rite, has been hired into the position of Director of Meat Merchandising. It also announced that Sam Wagar, the company’s Director of Enterprise Architecture, has been promoted to the position of VP, Technical Services.

The Kroger Co. announced the promotion of Jeff Burt as President of the company’s Central division. Kroger’s Central Division operates 136 food stores primarily in Indiana and Illinois. Burt, 50, has been group VP of perishables merchandising and procurement since 2010. He succeeds Bob Moeder, who recently announced his plans to retire this spring.

The Pantry Inc. announced that John J. Fisher, Senior VP of Retail Merchandising and Restaurant Operations, will be leaving on March 29, 2013.

Pilot Flying J said that Jimmy Haslam is moving back into the role of CEO. He replaces John Compton, the former PepsiCo President whose hiring was announced in September.

Weis Markets has promoted Wayne Bailey to VP of Supply Chain and Logistics. Prior to his promotion, Bailey was a Regional VP.


Mergers and Acquisitions:

Coen Oil Co. has purchased six Kwik King Stores, as well as individual storefronts in Brilliant and McMurray, PA and a seven-store chain in Pennsylvania and Maryland.

Magruder’s is selling all of its stores; its Connecticut Avenue store had already been sold, and owners were working to sell the stores in Alexandria, Gaithersburg, Rockville and Vienna.


Industry Insight:

Green Zebra, a new supermarket concept, will debut in Portland later this spring. The smaller-format grocery stores plan to emphasize convenience and healthy foods. With a 25-year track regard in the grocery business, Lisa Sedlar, who stepped down as CEO of New Seasons Markets two months ago, is planning the venture.

Okey-Dokey Grocery Markets, which opened Jan. 12 in Lauderhill, opened a new location in Broward County, FL. The chain, which touts low prices and small stores in urban locations, was started by Dutch investment firm AgroTrade International. It has several South Florida stores.


Real Estate:

Aldi, Inc. is seeking growth opportunities throughout GA, excluding the metropolitan Atlanta area, during the coming 18 months, with representation by Settlemyer Properties.  The company will also consider inline spaces and requires at least two acres of land for freestanding buildings.

Within five years, 7-Eleven could be nearly as ubiquitous in Manhattan as Starbucks is today. The company plans to open at least 30 new stores a year.

Demoulas Supermarkets is eyeing a long-abandoned factory site in Lynn, MA to build a new Market Basket supermarket.

Grocery Outlet is planning to open 30 new locations throughout its existing markets during the coming 18 months.  Typical leases run five to 10 years.  A basic shell is required. Preferred demographics include a population of 10,000 within three miles earning $50,000 as the average household income.  Major competitors include Walmart Supercenter.  A land area of two acres is required for freestanding locations.  The company prefers to acquire second-generation sites.

Walter Lagestee, Inc. operates retail locations of about 45,000 sq. ft. to 55,000 sq. ft. in freestanding locations and strip and value centers.  The company is looking for new stores sites throughout IL during the coming 18 months.  Typical leases run 10 to 20 years and a vanilla shell is required, while preferred demographics include a population of 35,000 within 10 miles earning $65,000 to $75,000 as the average household income.

Sprouts Farmers Market is planning a 25,000-square-foot location in Katy, Texas. The store will be the first of five slated for the Houston area. Sprouts is known for a layout that resembles a farmers market, with fresh produce, baked goods and barrels of grain on display.

Weis Markets plans to open two stores 3-3-2013 in Maryland, a 55,476-square-foot store in Towson and a 58,027-square-foot store in Woodlawn. Both locations will have a full-service pharmacy, a deli, a foodservice department and a large produce department, with organic items.


Green Initiatives:

Brookshire Grocery says it will “go beyond regulatory requirements” to protect the ozone layer as part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s GreenChill Advanced Refrigeration Partnership. Partners reduce refrigerant leaks and choose environmentally friendly refrigerant to achieve an emission rate that is typically 50% lower than the national average.