FINANCE

The Container Store to go public

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — The Container Store late Monday filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public stock offering.

The retailer, which operator of 62 stores in 22 states with annual sales of $702 million, said it sees the potential for c as many as 300 U.S. Locations, with international growth also a possibility. It expects to open six stores during the current fiscal year and seven stores next year.

Funds raised in the stock offering will be used to pay a dividend to holders of the company’s senior and junior preferred stock. The Container Store currently has outstanding debt of $392 million, according to the filing.

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REAL ESTATE

Rouses Markets to expand into Alabama; will remodel six acquired stores

BY Marianne Wilson

Thibodaux, La. — Southern grocery store operator Rouses Markets will take ownership of six former Belle Foods stores in Alabama from Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG), a retail-owner cooperative of which Rouses Markets is a member. AWG and its group of grocers and operators submitted the winning bid last week at the Belle Foods bankruptcy auction in Birmingham.

This is Rouses Markets’ first expansion into Alabama. The company currently operates 38 stores in Louisiana and Mississippi. Three new stores in Louisiana were also recently announced.

Rouses Markets won’t take possession until after the transfer to AWG is complete.

"The stores will already be closed when we take ownership," said Donny Rouse, managing partner of Rouses Markets. "We’re going to keep them closed while they undergo multimillion-dollar remodeling. We’ll be adding in-store sausage kitchens, seafood boiling rooms and other features we’re famous for."

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REAL ESTATE

Nonprofit grocery store Fare & Square opens in Chester, Pa.

BY Staff Writer

CHESTER, Pa. — Fare & Square, the nation’s first nonprofit grocery store of its kind, opened in Chester, Pa. It is the first full service grocery store to open in Chester, a “food desert” area, since 2001.

Fare & Square will sell a full array of food with a focus on fresh products in a 16,000 sq. ft. store with six departments including produce, deli, fresh meat, seafood, dairy, frozen and dry goods featuring brand name and private labels.

"Food deserts are one of the most pervasive problems plaguing cities across the country," said Bill Clark, president and executive director of Philabundance. “Chester has been without a grocery store for far too long, and we are so proud to be able to bring the first grocery store to Chester.”

Chester has been without a grocery store for 12 years, and more than 54% of families in the City must travel too far for groceries, according to a Philabundance Community Survey conducted in July 2010.

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