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April 7, 2009
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  • The gourmet grocery Balducci’s Food Lovers Market, based in Bethesda, Md., announced last week that it is shuttering four underperforming stores because of a company restructuring. Its New York City stores are part of the closing.
  • In other closing news, Rite Aid Corp., Camp Hill, Pa., reported last week that it is shutting down a distribution center in Newnan, Ga., later on this year. That move follows reports that Rite Aid’s same-store sales were down in March by 0.7 percent compared to last year, when the Easter holiday was observed in March instead of April.
  • In some opening news, meantime, Batavia, Ill.-based ALDI Inc. announced the opening of its 1,000th store in the United States, in West Haven, Conn.
  • Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans Foods Markets Inc. said it recently was awarded the 2009 Global Innovator Award from the International Housewares Association. The store won in the category of “multi-store retailers,” a segment that counts Target Corp. and Bloomingdale’s among its past winners.
  • Online promotions of store brands continue in earnest. Jacksonville, Fla.-based Winn-Dixie Stores Inc., for example, now features a dedicated Web page to its Winn-Dixie “Family of Brands,” billed as “Better prices for every budget.” Meanwhile, 7-Eleven Inc., Dallas, Texas, is touting a $2.99 deal on its Web site for its big bite hot dog, its 7-Select store brand chips and a Big Gulp.
  • Combining the impending kickoff of grilling season with a Web site promotion, Food Lion, Salisbury, N.C., launched the “Grilling Game,” through which participants can virtually flip burgers and get a chance to win coupons for store brand grilling season items.

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