Maine House votes to repeal law banning big-box stores from downtown areas
New York City — The Maine House on Wednesday voted to effectively repeal the Informed Growth Act, a law that was enacted four years ago to protect Maine’s downtown business districts from big-box stores, The Portland Press Herald reported.
The vote, while a preliminary one, followed an impassioned debate about the character of Maine’s traditional downtowns and whether Wal-Mart and other large national chains have hurt local businesses or have helped them by attracting more people to communities, the report said.
The Informed Growth Act was enacted in 2007 after several midcoast Maine communities tried to block big-box stores from being built within their borders out of concerns that the big stores would drive local retailers out of business. Vermont is the only other state with a similar law, although it is less comprehensive. Some cities and regions have adopted similar measures.
The Senate has yet to take up the bill.
United Supermarket debuts new United Express format
Lubbock, Texas — United Supermarkets officially entered the convenience market on Wednesday with the opening of its first United Express location, in Lubbock, Texas. It is the company’s first standalone convenience store.
The location includes a six-pump fuel station and will feature fresh offerings along with the traditional items guests would expect to find at a convenience store.
“Our goal with United Express is to take the offerings and products such as prepared foods which have been most successful in our A Taste of Market Street stores, as well as those on-the-go convenience items, and blend them where guests will see traditional offerings with a unique United flair,” explained Chris Bridgford, the company’s director of fuel and convenience operations.
Designer line finds exclusive home at Safeway
PLEASANTON, Calif. –Safeway Inc. announced that has teamed up with design expert Debi Lilly to launch an exclusive new line of entertaining and home décor products.
The first products will be launched under the brand name Debi Lilly Design just in time for Mother’s Day 2011, Safeway reported. The line will include beautiful and inspiring floral arrangements, elegant vase collections, contemporary scented candles, and a variety of other home décor and gift items. They will be accompanied by tips from Lilly on entertaining and décor, both in-store and online.
Lilly’s credits include appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show and ABC News, as well as features in In Style, Brides and People.
"We understand that our customers have a desire to entertain and decorate with style," said Joe Ennen, SVP consumer brands. "Now they can find products from an acclaimed entertaining and design expert – all at affordable prices and at the convenience of their local Safeway."