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Report: Dominick’s Spending Over $200M on Remodeling

BY CSA STAFF

Chicago Supermarket chain Dominick’s is in the midst of spending more than $200 million to renovate its Chicago stores along its lifestyle format, aiming to reverse years of decline, according to the Chicago Tribune.

There have been recent rumors circulating that Dominick’s is for sale, but the company’s president Don Keprta stressed that it was not.

With Dominick’s corporate parent Safeway pumping big money into renovating stores, “logic dictates that it’s not for sale,” he said.

Keprta noted, too, that Dominick’s earlier this month launched a new marketing offensive that entails significantly higher ad spending, though he declined to be more specific.

The conversion process isn’t cheap, ranging from $2 million to $5 million per store, the report said. Overall, Dominick’s has spent more than $100 million on the project so far, and expects to invest at least another $150 million in the next two years, according to the report.

“We’ve had significant sales growth each time we do the lifestyle format,” Keprta said. “We’re very pleased with the results, and that’s what has allowed us to go back to [Safeway] and get more money to keep it going.”

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Giant Eagle alleges chocolate price fixing

BY CSA STAFF

PITTSBURGH According to reports, Giant Eagle has filed suit against a number of chocolate manufacturers, claiming that it was overcharged for products. The company alleges that during the period between 2002 and 2007, it was overcharged for $200 million worth of chocolate products.

The company has named some major players in the suit, including Hershey, Mars and Cadbury Schweppes. According to reports, the suit is not the first to claim overcharging by chocolate manufacturers.

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Sears to sell more appliances at Kmart

BY CSA STAFF

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. Sears Holdings, according to its annual report, plans to sell appliances at more of its Kmart stores and will open more dealer stores this year.

The company also said in its annual report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it expects capital spending this year to be flat with last year’s level.

In the filing, Sears Holdings said it “will continue to explore opportunities to profitably cross-merchandise products and services” between its Kmart and Sears stores.

That includes continuing to roll out home appliances, such as those in Sears’ proprietary Kenmore brand, to more Kmart stores, Appliances, a category in which Sears is the dominant U.S. retailer, accounted for about 15% of company revenues during fiscal 2007, the filing said.

As of Feb. 2, the end of fiscal 2007, about 280 Kmart stores were selling major home appliances, the filing said. At the end of fiscal 2005, about 100 Kmart stores were selling Sears-branded products such as tools and appliances.

The company said it opened 40 dealer stores during fiscal 2007, and would open more in rural and urban areas this year. Sears has 857 dealer stores, which sell appliances, electronics, lawn and garden equipment, hardware and car batteries.

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