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Bombay to Close All U.S. Stores

BY CSA STAFF

Fort Worth, Texas, The Bombay Co. Inc. is going out of business across the country, according to the Associated Press. Bombay, which filed for bankruptcy in September, said a joint venture of Gordon Bros. Retail Partners and Hilco Merchant Resources submitted the winning bid for the retailer’s U.S. inventory.

The winning bidders plan to shut down Bombay’s U.S. stores and keep its Canadian stores open, the company said.

A U.S. bankruptcy court and an Ontario court must approve Bombay’s plan. A hearing is scheduled for Monday in Fort Worth.

If the plan wins approval, the bidders will begin going-out-of-business sales at Bombay’s U.S. stores as early as next week, the company said.

The amount of the bid was not disclosed.

David Stewart, Bombay CEO, said the stores will remain open through the holiday season.

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Whole Foods expands ESL use in Southwest

BY CSA STAFF

AUSTIN, Texas Whole Foods has expanded its use of electronic shelf labeling throughout its Southwest division, according to reports.

The switch from paper to digital labels occurred three years ago, which Whole Foods claims is environmentally friendly as it reduces the amount of paper and plastic used when prices are changed. Its success has led to all stores in Texas and Louisiana to make the switch.

“It saves us a lot of labor and materials,” said Michael Maynard, head of Whole Foods Southwest Regional Information Technology. “We used to use a little vinyl shelf tag that we put on a plastic chip and put that on the shelf. You can imagine how much labor (switching) saved us.”

Maynard added that electronic shelf labeling allows Whole Foods to react more quickly to changes in competitor prices.

“If somebody has lower prices down the street, we can change the whole category down to the price as well,” he said.

The company uses thousands of digital shelf tags, which cost about $5 each.

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Ahold to sell Tops chain for $310M

BY CSA STAFF

AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands Ahold yesterday announced that it is selling its Tops Markets chain to a private equity firm for $310 million. The company added that the divestment of Tops is part of its strategic review announced in November 2006.

Ahold said it sold the chain to Morgan Stanley Private Equity and that the transaction is expected to close in ther fourth quarter of this year. 

Tops operates stores in western New York, mid-state New York including the Rochester area, and northwestern Pennsylvania under the banners of Tops Markets and Martin’s Super Food Stores. Tops currently employs approximately 10,000 full- and part-time associates.

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