Food Lion to Open New Format
Salisbury, N.C., Food Lion is opening three new stores in South Carolina that represent a new format for the company, according to a report by morningnewsbeat.com. The 35,000-sq.-ft. new format has an expanded natural and organic selection, a large wine department and offers products that meet some specific dietary needs of customers, such gluten-free and dairy-free items. The renovation also includes re-designed grocery aisles, new customer-service counters and checkout lanes and a new decor package, with new signs, graphics and colors and improved lighting. Food Lion also announced last week that it is unveiling fresh makeovers at 26 stores in the tri-state area of Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia. Each store will reopen June 21.
Rite Aid Rumored to Be Eying Eckerd
Harrisburg, Pa., According to a Credit Suisse analyst, Rite Aid Corp. could be considering a purchase of some of Jean Coutu Group Inc.’s Eckerd stores if the chain decides to divest the mid-Atlantic and southeastern U.S. units.
Analyst Edward Kelly estimates the probability of such a deal at 25%. Further deterioration of Longueuil, Quebec-based Jean Coutu’s financial situation could increase the odds, according to Kelly.
Although neither Jean Coutu or Rite Aid has responded to the speculation, Rite Aid has said it will participate in ongoing industry consolidation.
Kelly estimated that the 729 Eckerd stores could be sold for $700 to $800 million.
Papa John’s to Open 500 Stores in India
New Delhi, Papa John’s International plans to open 500 pizza outlets across India over the next 10 years. The Louisville, Ky.-based pizza maker plans to expand its operations internationally and has identified six high-potential markets: Mexico, Britain, South Korea, China, India and Russia. Papa John’s has named Om Pizza and Eats India, an Indian fast-food company, as its franchisee, with plans to initially open 100 pizza outlets in northern India.