Personnel Updates:

Associated Wholesale Grocers announced that effective 10/5/2014: Steve Arnold will be promoted to Exec VP Marketing, Dan Funk will be promoted to the position of Senior VP Grocery Products, and Dave Sutton will be promoted to President of Valu Merchandisers Co.

BJ’s Wholesale Club named David Atkins to position of VP Own Brands.

Food City named John Jones as the company’s new Exec VP Director of Store Operations.

Meg Ham has been named President of Food Lion effective 11/01/2014.

Smart & Final has hired Joe Van Dette as VP Digital Marketing.

Financial Focus:

Dahl’s Foods announced that the company has filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc. has entered into an agreement with Dahl’s to buy the company’s operating assets.

Industry Insight:

Amazon will begin operating its Amazon Fresh service in Brooklyn, NY. Bozzuto’s will be the supplier.

Chevron will make Apple Pay available at more than 3,000 Chevron and Texaco ExtraMile locations.

Dash’s Market plans to offer a click-and-collect service.

Instacart added five Sunset Foods to its offering in Chicago.

Kroger is testing out new digital shelf displays at its Cold Spring, KY store.  The company is looking to hire 500 new part-time employees in the Louisville, KY, due to its expanding stores in the area.

Loblaws is making 20,000 SKUs available online, and is charging between three and five dollars to use the service.

Price Chopper is changing its name to Market 32 by Price Chopper, will invest more than $300 million over the next five years in a major renovation and re-branding campaign, and has announced 32 projected remodeling’s.

Crumbs Bake Shop has reached an agreement with Roundy’s Supermarkets Inc. to launch a test pilot in the Mariano’s grocery store in Westchester, IL.

Whole Foods Market launched its first national advertising campaign, called “Values Matter.” It is also testing interactive installations  that will create a more “informative, entertaining and immersive shopping experience—including connecting shoppers more closely to the farmers who provide the food they eat, and educating them on the sustainable growing practices that Whole Foods Market uses to rate farms in its new produce ratings program.”

Mergers and Acquisitions:

Apollo Capital Management, the private equity firm that’s the largest investor in Sprouts Farmers Market, is selling portion of its stock.

C&S Wholesale Grocers will buy the warehouse and distribution operations of food distributor Grocers Supply Co. (This purchase will not include any of Grocers Supply’s retail operations. )

Delhaize Group has signed an agreement to sell Bottom Dollar Food’s 66 store’s to Aldi for approximately $15 million.

Empire Petroleum closed on the acquisition of 11 former Corner Store locations in Lubbock, TX.

Holtzman Oil Corp. will acquire Cline Energy, operator of Valley’s convenience stores, in early 2015.

Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage will acquire Nature’s Pantry on 12/07/2014.

Star Holding LLC, has purchased 13 convenience stores and three quick-service restaurants in Florida from TimeSaver Food Stores Co.

Real Estate:

Aldi will open five locations in Michigan beginning 11/13/2014.

Dillon Stores will sell its four stores in the Springfield, MO, market to Price Cutter.

Food Lion has announced the remodel of 45 stores in the greater Greenville, New Bern and Jacksonville, NC, market.

The Fresh Market opened a 25,000 sq.-ft. store at 3024 Prosperity Church Road in Mallard Creek, NC, on 11/12/2014.

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market will open a location in Fort Wayne, ID, and Milwaukee, WI, by late 2015.

Gordon Food Service has announced plans to build a $58 million, 300,000-square-foot distribution center in Kannapolis, NC, that will lead to 275 jobs.

GPM Investments LLC is selling 12 convenience stores. This includes eight locations in Virginia, three in Delaware, two in Connecticut and Maryland, and one in New Jersey.

Harris Teeter opened a location in Maryland and Charlotte, NC.

Hy-Vee will open a location in Oakdale, MN.

Key Food’s Urban Market concept is set to open its second NYC location in Queens, NY. The store will be 8,000 sq.-ft.

The Kroger Co.

  • It will rebuild and expand its Troy, OH, store to 124,000 sq.-ft.
  • It will eliminate the Food 4 Less banner in Las Vegas in 2015 by closing eight Food 4 Less stores and converting six to the Smith’s Food & Drug Store banner.
  • It is also leaving the Springfield, MO, market by selling its four Dillon’s stores in the area to Price Cutter.

Love’s purchased 11 acres of land in order to expand in Albuquerque, NM.

Lucky’s Market is planning to open multiple locations in Florida. Its first Florida location will open in Gainesville in January and will be 30,000 sq.-ft. and the second will be in Plantation, FL, in the fall of 2015.

Market Basket opened a store in Revere, MA, and plans to open five more stores.

Martin’s Super Markets plans to open a new 26,000-sq.-ft. concept store called Martin’s Express in 2015.

New Seasons Market will open a location in Tualatin, OR.

Publix bought two shopping centers in the Orlando area. It will open a location in Moody, AL.

QuickChek opened its first Long Island, NY, store on 10/27/2014.

Two Rainbow Foods stores are expected to close 11/9/2014.

Sheetz opened a 250,000 sq.-ft. distribution center at 1737 Whites Kennel Road, Burlington, NC.

SpartanNash invested $5 million to remodel three of its SunMart stores and is reopening them under the Family Fare Supermarket banner. 

Sprouts Farmers Market plans to renovate a former Schnucks grocery store in Memphis for $1.5 million. It also opened 14 new stores in NV, UT, KS, OK, GA, CA, and TX, and will open 10 locations in the first quarter of 2015.

Supervalu Inc. will add 9,000-sq. ft. to its offices in Hopkins, MN.

Thortons opened a store at 2356 W Hillsborough Ave, Tampa FL 33606.

Trader Joe’s will open a location in Katy, TX, in February 2015, and a 11,500 sq.-ft. store in Pittsburg, PA, on 02/27/2015.

Wawa will open a location in Baltimore, MD; three stores in Lee County, FL, by spring 2015; and six stores across Southwest Florida by 2017.

Wegmans opened its third MA location.

Whole Foods

  • Opened a 55,000 sq.-ft. store at 1700 Post Oak Blvd, Houston, TX, which will include an in-house brewery, in-store bar, Souvlaki grill, and The Greenhouse which is a green clothing and accessory store.
  • It opened a store in Prescott, AZ, on 11/05/2014.
  • It will open a flagship store in downtown Denver in 2017 and stores in: Seattle, WA; Hoover, AL; Tempe, AZ; Santa Clara, CA; Destin, FL; Towson, MD; Woodbury, MN; Lancaster and Newtown Square, PA; and El Paso and Las Colinas, TX.

Green Initiatives:

Weis Markets announced that it is pledging “to reduce the company’s greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent by the year 2020.”