Personnel Updates

Albertsons announced that Susan Morris, President of the Denver Division will now serve as Exec VP Retail Operations for the East Region. Ms. Morris is replacing the departing Kelly Griffith.

Publix Super Market announced the retiring of Thomas McLaughlin after 48 years with the company; no replacement has been announced.

Kroger announced the promotion of Bill Green to VP Operations for the Columbus Division.

Sobeys announced the hiring of Beth Newlands Campbell as President, Atlantic/Ontario Division.

SuperValu has named James Weidenheimer as Exec VP Corporate Development and Chief Innovation Officer; also COO Bruce Besanko has added the additional title of CFO.

Industry Insight

H-E-B announced the company’s stores will use Shipt and Instacart. This will allow H-E-B to offer their customers grocery delivery in the San Antonio area. H-E-B has also launched their curbside pick-up at one location in San Antonio, enabling online ordering with same-day pickup.

Kroger conducted a nationwide hiring event in order to fill 14,000 open positions across all its supermarket chains.

Kroger is opening seven new Lucky’s Markets in Florida this year. This will bring the total of Lucky’s Markets to 10 in Florida. The stores are planned to open in Orlando, Melbourne, Neptune Beach and Plantation.

Kroger will invest over $250 million dollars in the next two years in the Nashville, TN area with new locations and remodels of approximately 40% of its current Nashville, TN area locations. The plans will help to create more than 2,000 jobs in the area.

Weis Markets plans to spend $140 million to build three new locations and complete 20 remodels in 2016. The company also plans to build three new Gas N’ Go locations and invest in information technology upgrades.

Real Estate

Natural Markets Food Group has plans to expand into Manhattan and Brooklyn in the next 18 months with two to three new Mrs. Green’s Neighborhood Market locations.

Kroger leased a 200,000 square foot building that was a former Target distribution center in west Phoenix, AZ.  The building features more than 110,000 square feet of cold storage and more than 32,000 square feet of frozen storage.

Whole Foods will add six more “365” format locations in six new markets throughout Ohio, Indiana, Georgia and California. All six locations are scheduled to be open by end of 2017.

The Fresh Market announced the closing of 13 of its 175 stores by May 18th 2016 and will be exiting four states with closures. The company plans to close all locations in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Texas.


Financial Focus

Fairway Group Holding Corp. has filed for bankruptcy protection. The company has reached a restructuring deal with their creditors.