REAL ESTATE

Fresh Market to open at the Village at Nellie Gail Ranch

BY Staff Writer

Laguna Hills, Calif. — Vintage Real Estate announced that The Fresh Market will open at its neighborhood shopping center The Village at Nellie Gail Ranch in Laguna Hills, Calif., which is undergoing a $17 million renovation and expansion.

The gourmet grocer will open a 21,000-sq.-ft. store in summer 2014.

The expansion and renovation of Village at Nellie Gail Ranch includes new facades, storefronts, refreshed landscaping and outdoor gathering spots. With the expansion, the center will total approximately 100,000 sq. ft.

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If you can’t beat them, acquire them

BY CSA STAFF

Branded food supplier ConAgra’s acquisition of private label rival Ralcorp promises to create an interesting new dynamic when it comes to trading partner relationships.

Earlier this week, the companies announced they had reached an agreement valued at $6.8 billion whereby ConAgra will acquire Ralcorp for $90 a share to create one of the nation’s largest food companies with annual sales of roughly $18 billion.

"We are very pleased to have reached an agreement with Ralcorp after a period of collaborative dialogue between the two companies," said ConAgra Foods CEO Gary Rodkin. "Ralcorp is already the largest private label food company in the U.S. and is well positioned for future growth. The acquisition of Ralcorp is a logical and exciting step for ConAgra Foods. Adding Ralcorp provides us with a much larger presence in the attractive and growing private label segment and accelerates our ‘Recipe for Growth’ strategy. The transaction will allow us to apply our scale and combined operational expertise to this important growth area, and will strengthen our position as one of the leading food companies in North America."

The deal also promises to change the nature of conversations ConAgra has with some of its trading partners who, to varying degrees, rely on the prospect of private label competition as a negotiating strategy with brand suppliers. ConAgra was already generating private label sales of $950 million, but the deal makes the company the nation’s largest supplier of private label food with annual sales of $4.5 billion.

"We believe the balanced combination of our very significant branded food business, the largest private label food business in North America, and our important commercial food businesses, will enable ConAgra Foods to deliver even greater value and innovation to our customers and consumers, and sustainable profitable growth to our shareholders," Rodkin said.

"We believe the two companies are a great fit, and our employees will benefit as part of a larger diversified organization with the necessary scale and resources to be a leader in today’s rapidly evolving marketplace," said Kevin Hunt, Ralcorp’s president and CEO.

Ralcorp said the deal aligns with its 18 month old Recipe for Growth strategy which includes expansion in the private label segment, growth in its core business and adjacencies, and expansion internationally.

Ralcorp’s private label offerings include categories such as cereal, pasta, crackers, jellies and jams, syrups, frozen waffles and more. ConAgra is best known for brands such as Banquet, Chef Boyardee, Egg Beaters, Healthy Choice, Hebrew National, Hunt’s, Marie Callender’s, Orville Redenbacher’s, PAM, Peter Pan, Reddi-wip, Slim Jim and Snack Pack.

 

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B&N curries favor with teachers

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK — Barnes & Noble will offer teachers a special holiday shopping event Saturday, Dec. 1.

Educators who shop at their local Barnes & Noble store or at www.bn.com and present a valid Barnes & Noble Educators Discount Card will receive special discounts on select merchandise.

Some of discounts on eligible items include 20% off Nook Simple Touch, 10% off Nook Tablet 8GB or 16GB, 25% off personal and classroom purchases and 10% off DVDs and music. Nook Simple Touch with Glow Light, Nook HD and Nook HD+ devices are not eligible for any educator or bulk discounts at this time. There is a limit of three devices per educator.

“During a time when school funding has been seriously impacted by budget cuts, we are pleased to show our support of educators with this special day of discounted shopping on December 1,” said Sarah DiFrancesco, director of business development, Barnes & Noble. “Teachers may use the discount to purchase special items for their classrooms and holiday gifts for co-workers or students or simply for themselves (they deserve it!). Schools are places of dreams and aspirations, just like a bookstore, and Barnes & Noble is committed to supporting the teachers who help make our country great by educating our children.”

Educators attending the one-day holiday shopping event can also receive information about Barnes & Noble’s 2013 My Favorite Teacher Contest (www.bn.com/myfavoriteteacher), which provides middle and high school students the opportunity to tell their communities how much they appreciate their teachers by writing an essay, poem or letter about them. Local winning teachers are recognized at an in-store event in the spring and become eligible to win prizes at the regional level. One regional winner will be named the Barnes & Noble National Teacher of the Year.

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