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Former CEO May Bid for Children’s Place

BY CSA STAFF

New York City, Ezra Dabah, the former CEO and a current director of The Children’s Place Retail Stores Inc., is considering making a bid for the retailer, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Monday.

Recently, the retailer has been hammered by a string of bad news, including Dabah’s resignation in late September after a company probe found he had violated internal policies for securities trades.

In Monday’s filing, Dabah and his wife reported a 17.9% stake in the company and said they plan to contact potential private-equity sponsors and strategic buyers about a possible acquisition offer. Dabah said he also may support a third party’s proposal to acquire the company.

The former CEO said he plans to discuss strategies to maximize shareholder value with other stockholders, including a potential proxy solicitation to elect directors to the company’s board.

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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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