Ahold Acquires Czech Supermarkets
Zaandam, Netherlands, Ahold announced it has reached an agreement to acquire as many as 67 Julius Meinl supermarkets in the Czech Republic. The acquisition will increase Ahold’s store count in that country to about 300. The Julius Meinl stores will be rebranded as Albert, the banner under which Ahold operates its supermarkets in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland.
Supermarkets Cut Back on Discounts
New York City, Some supermarkets are cutting back on promotional discounts and are starting to offer everyday low prices like Wal-Mart and other discounters. Traditionally, grocery stores have weekly specials to attract consumers and keep their non-sale items at higher prices. Last year, however, traditional supermarkets controlled only 52% of U.S. grocery sales. Ten years ago, traditional grocery stores controlled 81% of sales. With the increase in discount suppliers, traditional grocery stores have had to compete with pricing.
Companies such as Safeway and Albertson’s still use sales to attract shoppers, but are increasingly closing the gap between everyday and sale prices. Grocery store companies believe shoppers today are busy and not as willing to search for good deals as they were in the past.
Boscov’s Looks to Expand
Reading, Pa., Boscov’s could benefit from Federated Department Stores Inc.’s takeover of May Department Stores Co. Federated is planning to sell some stores in malls that already have a Macy’s. Boscov’s is planning on buying Strawbridge’s locations in malls where Macy’s already exists.
Currently, Boscov’s has stores in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware and Maryland, and one under construction in Virginia. Adding some of the eight Strawbridge’s locations would help the company grow more quickly. According to John Hlis, senior VP for real estate and development, Boscov’s has not yet begun negotiations with Federated. Hlis said, however, “We will aggressively pursue this.”