Personnel Updates:

7-Eleven Inc. announced that Darren Rebelez, Exec VP and COO, has left the company.

Alfalfa’s Market promoted John Varsames to the role of COO and Lisa Fallon to the role of VP of Finance and Administration. The company also hired Paul McLean as the VP of Purchasing, Marketing and Merchandising.

Associated Foods Stores announced that Zulema Wiscovitch has joined the company as Exec VP and Chief Administrative Officer.

C&S Wholesale Grocers appointed Alejandro Rodriguez Bas to the position Exec VP, New Business and Market Development, and Christopher Brown to Senior VP of Independent Sales.

Delhaize America announced that it has hired Michael Laurentito be its new CIO, effective 9/17/2014 and that Maura Abelen Smith, current Exec VP, General Counsel and General Secretary, will be leaving the company effective 11/1/2014.

Fairway Group Holdings announced that it has hired Jack Murphy to be its new CEO and Dorothy Carlow as its Chief Merchandising Officer.

Kroger has hired Alex Tosolini, to be its SVP of New Business Development.

Safeway/Albertsons announced its leadership team once the companies merge:

Top Leadership team:

  • Bob Gordon: Exec VP, General Counsel
  • Shane Sampson: Exec VP, Marketing & Merchandising
  • Andy Scoggin: Exec VP, Human Resources, Labor Relations, Public Affairs & Government Affairs
  • Jerry Tidwell: Exec VP, Supply Chain & Manufacturing
  • Lee Wilson: Exec VP & CAO
  • Bob Dimond: Exec VP & CFO
  • Justin Ewing: Exec VP, Corporate Development & Real Estate
  • Barry Libenson: Interim Exec VP & CIO
  • Wayne Denningham: Exec VP & COO, South Region
  • Justin Dye: Exec VP & COO, East Region
  • Kelly Griffith: Exec VP & COO, North Region

The division presidents for the new company, who will report to the COO for their respective regions, will be:

  • Dennis Bassler: Portland Division, North Region
  • Paul McTavish: Denver Division, North Region
  • Susan Morris: Intermountain Division, North Region
  • Tom Schwilke: Northern California Division, North Region
  • Dan Valenzuela: Seattle Division, North Region
  • Shane Dorcheus: Southwest Division, South Region
  • Scott Hayes: Southern Division, South Region
  • Sidney Hopper: Houston Division, South Region
  • Lori Raya: Southern California Division, South Region
  • Robert Taylor: United Division, South Region
  • Steve Burnham: Eastern Division, East Region
  • Jim Perkins: Acme Division, East Region
  • Jim Rice: Shaw’s Division, East Region
  • Mike Withers: Jewel-Osco Division, East Region

Schnuck Markets hired Steven Mayer as its new VP of Produce and Floral and Andrew Nadin as its new Chief Marketing Officer.

Industry Insight:

7-Eleven announced that it will begin selling a line of “nutritionally balanced” food.

Both Albertsons and Supervalu have reported that the computer networks they have in common have been hacked again.

Buehler’s Fresh Foods has added a wine department to the on-tap beer offering at the store it is remodeling in Wooster Milltown.

Giant Eagle is planning to hire as many as 1,000 new associates.

Giant Food is ending their 20-year-old program of rewarding customers 5 cents each time they use a reusable shopping bag.

The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. (A&P) has completed refinancing its existing senior debt. The arrangement was made with Wells Fargo Capital Finance for a new $300 million senior assed-based credit facility and a $270 million senior secured term loan through an amendment and restatement of its existing credit agreements.

The Kroger Co. is giving shoppers in Cincinnati the ability to order groceries online and pick them up in a store. The company also announced that its organic product sales are about to reach $1 billion, contributing about 1% of the company’s revenue.

Loblaws is piloting a “grocery click-and-collect program, which will allow shoppers to order online and pick up their completed order at stores.” It is also expanding its loyalty program to its No Frills stores in Western Canada.

Peapod, an Ahold-owned e-grocer, along with Giant Food Stores announced that it is introducing grocery delivery in 12 Pennsylvania communities.

Publix issued new restrictions on coupon use, limiting shoppers to using the same coupon eight times per household a day.

Roche Bros.’ flagship store in Boston store won’t open until spring 2015, but the company has set up a daily outdoor farm stand in order to attract customers to the future store.

Schnuck Markets is now offering four oral breast cancer medications for $9 with a prescription as part of its new Women’s Wellness initiative.

Sheetz Inc. has joined the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) and has made a two-year commitment to deliver healthier options to its 475 convenience stores.

Smart & Final raised more than $160 million in the company’s first day of trading common stock on the NYSE.

United States Postal Service is starting a pilot program 10/24/2014 to test grocery delivery over the next two years.


  • The company has opened its first Walmart Pickup Grocery service to registered customers in Northwest Arkansas. Registered users can choose between 10,000 products online, choose a pickup time between two hours and three weeks after the order is placed.
  • It will no longer match buy-one-get-one free offers at competitors’ grocery stores in Florida. Instead, it wants shoppers to use its price matching program called Savings Catcher, which was introduced in August.
  • It introduced a new food sustainability initiative, claiming it will “contribute to lowering the ‘true cost’ of food while improving access to healthy food and transparency as to its origins and ingredients.”
  • The company announced that it will no longer provide health care benefits to part-time employees. This change will affect about 2% of its US employees.

Whole Foods

  • The company plans to test a new loyalty program at its Princeton, NJ store, and then, if successful, expand the test to Philadelphia, and hopes to have a national loyalty program by the end of 2015.
  • The company announced that it is heavily investing in its IT infrastructure, in order to collect information on its customers, provide more information on food’s impact on the customer’s body and environment, and create a system that makes it easier to shop in stores.
  • It will open its first brewpub in Houston in early November and announced an aggressive growth strategy, planning to add 40 stores and update 200 of its existing stores within the next year.
  • It has introduced a produce ratings program, which ranks fruits and vegetables as good, better, and best, and is lowering prices on 400 produce items.

Mergers and Acquisitions:

Associated Wholesalers Inc. filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy code and is expected to be sold at an auction later this month. C&S Wholesale Grocers is the leading candidate to acquire AWI.

C&S Wholesale Grocers is in the process of acquiring the wholesale assets of Greenbax Enterprises for $9.3 million, and will help finance the purchase of 17 Greenbax owned Piggly Wiggly stores that are being sold to independent buyers. The stores are expected to keep using the Piggly Wiggly banner.

CST Brands Inc. has completed the purchase of 100% of the membership interests of Lehigh Gas GP LLC, the general partner of Lehigh Gas Partners LP, from Lehigh Gas Corp., and of all of its outstanding incentive distribution rights, for $17 million in cash and 2.044 million shares of CST common stock.

Empire Petroleum Partners LLC has acquired the retail business of Mansfield Oil Co. and has merged its retail dealer operations into Empire, effective 9/25/2014.

Grocery Outlet, Inc. announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by the affiliates of Hellman & Friedman LLC along with Grocery Outlet’s senior management team from its principal owner, Berkshire Partners LLC.

Hannaford Supermarkets has announced that it has come to an agreement with Paradis Shop ‘n Save to purchase three independent supermarkets in Houlton, Caribou, and Calais. The stores in Houlton and Caribou will become Hannaford-branded supermarkets with full-service pharmacies, but it is undecided who will operate the Calais store.

Parkland Fuel Corp. has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of Pioneer Energy, including a major retail network in Canada, for $344.2 million (USD).

Shop & Go has announced that it is acquiring 11 In & Out convenience stores, putting the company on track to meet its goal of reaching 100 stores within the next 5 years.

Speedway, a subsidiary of Marathon Petroleum Corp. (MPC), closed on the purchase of Hess’ retail operations, transport operations and shipper history on various pipelines on 9/30/2014. Speedway must rebrand all 1,256 retail sites to its own brand within three years of the transaction closing. As a result, all Hess stations will carry the Speedway brand name by the end of 2017.

Susser Petroleum Parthers LP,  a wholly owned subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners LP, will soon be renamed Sunoco LY and will be acquiring Mid-Atlantic Convenience Stores LLC from ETP in a transaction valued at approximately $768 million. Susser Petroleum also announced an agreement to acquire Honolulu-based Aloha Petroleum.

Real Estate

Acme will close two supermarkets in Philadelphia by 11/13/2014.

Aldi will open 54 locations in 2014 and up to 65 in 2015. It has opened a new location in Hueytown, AL; and Lincoln, NE, and has another store set to open in Lincoln on 12/09/2014.

Angelo Caputo’s Fresh Markets Inc. opened their 100,000 sq.-ft. store at 550 East North Ave, Carol Stream, IL.

Bashas’ opened a remodeled a 42,000-square-foot store in the heart of Phoenix.

Bi-Lo Holdings will close 23 Bi-Lo and Winn-Dixie stores on or before Nov. 17, but expects to open 25 new and remodeled stores by the end of the year. The locations of these stores have not been announced.

Coborn’s Inc. is opening a 65,000 sq.-ft. Cash Wise Foods store in West Fargo, ND.

Enmark Stations Inc. will be opening five stores in South Carolina.

The Fresh Market will open a location in Durham, NC. It has announced a Southeast expansion with an aggressive plan to double its stores in the region to more than 200 locations.

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market opened 2 stores in Indianapolis on 9/25/2014 at: 4225 E. 82nd Street and 2342 W, and plans to open one store in Ft. Wayne, IN, and two in Cincinnati, OH. It will also be opening 60 stores by 2019.

Giant Eagle opened its 107,000 sq.-ft. store in Strongsville, OH.

Harris Teeter will be relocating its Raleigh store at Cary Towne Center store to a new 53,000 sq.-ft. store in Village Square.

H-E-B will open a location in Wimberley, TX, in summer 2015.

Hy-Vee completed its $3.2 million renovation of its Omaha store.

Joe Caputo & Sons Fruit Market IGA acquired four Dominick’s locations in Chicago.

Kroger has reached 2,000 Fuel Centers. The company has applied for a building permit for a renovation on its Southgate Shopping Center store in Memphis, TN.

Lucky’s Market has announced that it plans to expand into 4 new states: Florida, Indiana, Wyoming, and Michigan. The new stores will vary in size, ranging from 11,500 sq.-ft. in Jackson Hole, 30,000 sq.-ft. in Gainesville, and 43,500 sq.-ft. in Bloomington.

Mariano’s announced its new growth strategy of opening five stores a year.

Natural Grocers is opening its 32nd Colorado location on 10/21/2014.

Publix Super Markets Inc. opened a 46,600 sq.-ft. location in Huntersville, NC, a 47,000 sq.-ft. store in Steele Creek, NC, a 49,000 sq.-ft. store in Cary, NC, and will open a new store in Charlotte, NC.

QuikTrip Corp. is moving forward with plans to transform a former Dillon’s grocery store into a gas station.

Sheetz will finish construction on its 250,000 sq.-ft. distribution center in Burlington, VA on 11/12/2014.

Smart & Final Stores Inc. opened its 30,000 sq.-ft. store in Sacramento.

Sprouts Farmers Market will open a location in Germantown, TN in 2015.

Sullivan’s Supervalu closed a store in Minneapolis, MN.

Tops Friendly Markets is planning to open a 25,000-sq. ft. store in Buffalo, NY.

Trader Joe’s opened locations in: McKinney, TX; Boca Raton; Palm Beach Gardens, FL; Pembroke Pines, FL; and will open locations in San Diego, CA in 2015.

Walmart will open three Neighborhood Markets in Tupelo, MS; one in Spring Hill, FL; and three 11,000 sq.-ft. stores in Mississippi.

Wawa opened its 50th store in Florida on 9/18/14 and announced the next 50 locations which will open in the next two years.

Whole Foods has new locations in: Alpharetta, GA; Ottawa, ON; Playa Vista, CA; Houston, TX; Los Angeles, CA; and Dallas, TX. It will open a location in Lake Norman, NC, and East Lansing, MI in 2015 and is looking for a new location in Detroit, MI. The company has also signed a lease for a 45,000 sq.-ft. store in Austin, TX which is expected to open in 2017

Winco Foods will open an 85,000-sq. ft. store in Garland, TX, by next spring.

Thorntons plans to spend $700,000 to renovate its 178 stores in the next 5 years.

Green Initiatives:

Rainbow Blossom Natural Food Markets was named the 2014 Retailer of the Year in the sustainability category at this year’s Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore.