Personnel Updates:

A&P promoted Raymond Silcock to the role of CFO reporting to president and CEO Sam Martin.

Ahold USA announced that Kathy Russello has been promoted to Exec VP of human resources, effective today. She succeeds Bhavdeep Singh, who was promoted last year to be Ahold USA’s executive vice president of operations.

GPM Investments LLC announced that it has promoted Chris Giacobone to COO to help lead its acquisition strategy in addition to overseeing its operations and marketing functions.

The Kroger Co. announced that Suzanne Lindsay has joined the company as Director of Sustainability, responsible for directing Kroger’s internal sustainability initiatives and leading the company’s Sustainability Leadership Team.

George Weston Ltd., the parent of Loblaw Cos., has hired Richard Dufresne as CFO a position he has held for the past six years with Metro Inc.

Mid-Atlantic Convenience Stores announced the appointment of Brad Williams to its executive leadership team as Senior VP of Operations.

Publix Super Markets has promoted Kelly Williams-Puccio to executive director of Publix Super Markets Charities.

Topco named Randall Skoda its new President and CEO, having served as interim president and CEO for the past few months, and executive vice president for four years prior to that.

Safeway announced yesterday that Steve Frisby, President of its Portland Division, will assume added responsibility for the company’s Seattle Division. He replaces Greg Sparks, who is leaving to pursue another business opportunity.


Financial Focus:

Ahold USA reported fiscal 2011 sales of $25.072 billion.

The Fresh Market reported fiscal 2011 sales of $1.1 billion.

Nash Finch Inc. reported fiscal 2011 sales of $4.807 billion.

Safeway Inc. reported fiscal 2011 sales of $43.63 billion.

Susser Holdings Corp. reported fiscal 2011 sales of $5.194 billion.

Publix Supermarkets Inc. reported fiscal 2011 sales of $27 billion.

Western Refining reported fiscal 2011 retail sales of $940 million.


Mergers and Acquisitions:

Bi-Lo Holding, the new parent company of both Bi-Lo and Winn-Dixie, will eventually move its headquarters to Jacksonville FL, where Winn-Dixie Stores had been based to better position itself geographically to manage the company.

Nash Finch Co. said that has agreed to acquire the 12-store Bag ’N Save chain in Omaha and York, Neb.

Sprouts Farmers Market and Sunflower Farmers Market, two independent and value-driven natural food store chains, announced an agreement to merge.  The combined company will operate 139 stores under the Sprouts Farmers Market name and will have approximately 10,000 employees. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2012. It is currently expected that all of the Sunflower stores will be re-branded under the Sprouts banner by the end of 2012.  According to company officials, 2012 revenue for the combined company should be close to $2 billion. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.


Industry Insight:

A&P emerged from bankruptcy to become a privately held supermarket chain. A&P had finalized plans for its exit financing and submitted an amended plan of reorganization it plans to take to the judge in its Chapter 11 case on Feb. 27 for confirmation, which has now been approved.


Real Estate:

Safeway, Inc. operates Randall’s Food and Drug and Tom Thumb throughout TX in retail stores of approximately 59,000 sq. ft. in freestanding locations and strip centers.  The company is looking for new location sites throughout Austin, Dallas and Houston, TX during the next 18 months.

Walter Lagestee, Inc. operates Walt’s Food Center at seven stores throughout IL and IN in 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.


Green Initiatives:

GIANT Food Stores installed rooftop solar panels at stores in Pennsylvania’s Lancaster and Pottstown. The panels will generate 12% or 13% of the stores’ electricity needs.

A Price Chopper Supermarkets store that opened Sunday in Binghamton NY was built with sustainable features that comply with silver certification of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The features include skylights that let in natural light, glass doors on refrigerators and freezers, and reduced construction waste through use of precast concrete walls.