REAL ESTATE

Academy pilots high school business ed program

BY Michael Fickes

Yonkers, N.Y. — Forest City Ratner Cos. has joined Yonkers Partners in Education to create Ridge Hill Academy, a pilot program in which local businesses teach local students about the “behind the scenes” operations of retail management.

Twenty-five students selected from local high schools have just begun the pilot’s third of five 10-week sessions, which take place at Westchester’s Ridge Hill shopping, dining and entertainment center.

Students, of course, have their own experiences of going shopping, eating in a restaurant, or going to the movies, but few know what it takes to bring those experiences to the surface. Ridge Hill Academy provides an up-close, personal look at all of the components of running a business.

Forest City and Yonkers Partners in Education have designed the program as a model that could work in any city across the country through a similar partnership between a developer and a group such as Yonkers Partners, which is a private, not-for-profit organization working with the Yonkers Public Schools to increase the number of students completing post secondary programs.

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REAL ESTATE

Meijer announces plans to expand in Wisconsin

BY Antoinette Alexander

MILWAUKEE — In his first major appearance before a Milwaukee crowd, Meijer CEO Hank Meijer said the retailer is gearing up for growth in Wisconsin over the next few years, according to the Milwaukee Business Journal.

Speaking at the recent Milwaukee Business Journal’s Power Breakfast, he said the company is likely to open 10 to 12 stores a year, and most of the locations will be in Wisconsin, the publication reported.

The company, which currently has more 200 stores in five states, is looking at “a lot of other communities beyond Milwaukee,” Meijer was quoted as saying.

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Ahold acquires supermarket business in Czech Republic

BY Antoinette Alexander

ZAANDAM, the Netherlands — Ahold has entered into an agreement to acquire Spar’s business in the Czech Republic. The acquisition includes 50 stores of which 36 are compact hypers and 14 are supermarkets.

The acquisition, which has and enterprise value of CZK 5,245 million, will be funded from existing cash resources and is subject to merger clearance.

This acquisition is in line with Ahold’s strategy to expand its geographic reach in both current and adjacent markets, and focus on leading market positions. Ahold has had a presence in the Czech Republic since 1991 and has developed the business under the Albert brand name.

"Our Czech Republic Albert’s business has continued to successfully improve the performance of its business during recent years. The acquisition of Spar’s business in the Czech Republic is an important strategic step and marks an exciting new phase for Ahold in the Czech Republic. It allows us to combine two companies that have a natural fit and that share a continuous focus on quality and value, and becoming a better place to shop for our customers. It will provide our large base of local suppliers access to an even bigger market, and I look forward to welcoming the associates to our company,” stated Dick Boer, CEO of Ahold.

Ahold currently operates 284 Albert supermarkets and compact hypers in the Czech Republic. Following the acquisition of Spar, the company will have more than 330 stores.

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