Personnel Updates:

Delhaize USA confirmed that Donald Ciotti left the company, who held the role of Director of Operations for Bottom Dollar for more three years. Ciotti is now Director of Operations of Good Cents Grocery + More, Giant Eagle’s discount banner.

Family Dollar Stores has named Jeffrey W. Macak Exec VP, Supply Chain.

Food Marketing Institute has named Susan Krys VP of Industry Events to help re-engineer the association’s industry trade show, now called FMI Connect.

The Fresh Market it has named Randall A. Young Senior VP Real Estate and Development, effective Sept. 30.

Golub Corporation/Price Chopper Supermarkets has named Jason Resner VP of Meat Merchandising.

Sam L. Susser has been appointed chairman of the board of directors of Susser Holdings Corp., effective immediately. He will retain his position as CEO of Susser Holdings.


Financial Focus:

Costco reported total fiscal sales of $102.9 billion.


Mergers and Acquisitions:

Albertsons has agreed to acquire The United Family, which operates 50 supermarkets under three banners — United Supermarkets, Market Street and Amigos — and seven convenience stores and 26 fuel centers under the United Express banner. It also operates two wholesale divisions — R.C. Taylor Distributing, which distributes tobacco, candy and general merchandise; and Praters, which manufactures a variety of prepared foods — and Llano Logistics, a wholly owned subsidiary that operates the company’s two distribution centers in Lubbock and Roanoke, Texas. The deal is expected to be complete October 2013.

Piggly Wiggly Carolina is selling 28 stores – 22 to Bi-Lo and 6 to Harris Teeter. Following the divestitures, employee-owned Piggly Wiggly Carolina will continue to operate 32 corporately owned stores — primarily in rural markets — and to supply 28 franchise customers.

Lehigh Gas Partners LP agreed to purchase the assets of Rocky Top Markets LLC and Rocky Top Properties LLC. Under the terms of the agreement, Lehigh will purchase 30 gas stations; assume or enter into leases for four others; assume seven third-party supply contracts; and purchase certain equipment and other assets at the sites for a total of $36.9 million.


Industry Insight:

Petroleum marketer F.L. Roberts & Co. Inc. and supermarket chain Big Y Foods Inc., have partnered in a new venture to develop their own brand of convenience stores with fuel under the name “Big Y Express.” The first facility will open in the fall of this year in Lee, Mass., at Exit 2 of the Massachusetts Turnpike.

Demoulas Market Basket’s first store in Maine opened August 18.

Kroger plans to open a Ruler Foods store in Muncie, Ind., at the end of next month. The small-format, discount grocery is expected to compete with similar retailers, such as ALDI. The store will offer Kroger and national brands, fresh meat and produce, and dry and frozen goods.

Publix Super Markets signed a lease for its first store in North Carolina, and would establish a Charlotte-based division for further growth in the Tar Heel State. The 56,000-square-foot store, to be located in Ballantyne, N.C., is tentatively planned to open in early 2014, Publix said.


Real Estate:

Grocery Outlet, Inc. is planning to open six Amelia’s supermarket locations throughout MD and southern and north central areas in PA, including Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Hazleton, State College and all areas west during the coming 18 months, with representation by LMS Commercial Real Estate. Typical leases run 10 years with options. Preferred demographics include a population of 50,000 within five miles earning $40,000 to $80,000 as the average household income. The company prefers to locate in areas with prominent visibility. The supermarkets occupy spaces of 15,000 sq. ft. to 20,000 sq. ft. in mixed-use and strip centers, as well as urban/downtown areas.

Lowes Foods said it would close two stores in North Carolina’s Triangle region next month. The stores include one on High House Road in Cornerstone Village in Cary, and the other at Capitol Crossings on East Millbrook Road in Raleigh. Both are scheduled to close Sept. 14, and have slashed prices to liquidate inventory.


Green Initiatives:

Hannaford Bros. supermarket in Turner, Maine, received the “Best of the Best” award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s GreenChill Partnership as the top store to be certified under the program in the past year.

The Ralphs/Food 4 Less division of Kroger is using biogas produced from food waste to power a California distribution center.