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New Kroger Contract for 19,500 Workers

BY CSA STAFF

Cincinnati, The Kroger Co. and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1996 announced two new 52-month contracts in Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia. Members of UFCW Local 1996 ratified the contracts during voting last Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The union contracts cover approximately 16,000 Kroger associates at 175 stores primarily in Georgia. The deal preserves “quality health care and retirement benefits for associates,” according to a Kroger statement. Kroger also agreed with the UFCW Local 400 in Roanaoke, Val, on a four-year contract that covers about 3,500 workers in western Virginia, southern West Virginia, and eastern Tennessee.

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Amazon, Drugstore.com Part Company

BY CSA STAFF

Seattle, It’s a classic case of “He said, she said.” Or, in this instance, “They said, they said.”

On-line retail pioneers Amazon.com and Drugstore.com, partners since 2000, have split. Drugstore.com has been paying to have its products carried prominently on Amazon’s site.

While Seattle-based Amazon implied it had initiated the breakup—by being the first to send out an announcement in the form of a press release—Drugstore.com CEO Dawn Lepore was quick to leap, telling investors on the company’s quarterly conference call yesterday afternoon that she was the one who made the phone call to Amazon to terminate the agreement.

Both had their reasons to part company. According to Amazon, which owns a 14% stake in Bellevue, Wash.-based Drugstore.com, its newly built relationships with major health-and-beauty brands such as Proctor & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson made its deal with Drugstore.com unnecessary. Drugstore.com, on the hand, said that the partnership represented a small and shrinking part of its business.

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Federated Names Two Board Members

BY CSA STAFF

Cincinnati, Joyce Roche and William Stiritz have been elected to the Federated Dept. Stores’ board of directors.

Roche is president and CEO of Girls, Inc., and Stiritz is the retired chairman and CEO of Ralston Purina Co. Both were directors of The May Dept. Stores Co. at the time of May’s merger with Federated.

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