SUPPLY CHAIN

Report: Grocery DC Closing

BY CSA STAFF

Central Islip, N.Y. A grocery distribution warehouse that services Waldbaum’s and A&P stores throughout lower New York state will close March 28, according to a union official on Monday who is negotiating severance terms for workers.

The warehouse employs approximately 400 people, said Kevin McCaffrey, president of Teamsters Local 707, which represents 220 warehouse workers. Another 90 unionized workers, including truck drivers, and about 80 non-union management and support staff also will be affected, he said.

The facility is operated by C&S Wholesale Grocers, a Keene, N.H.-based company that in 2005 took over warehousing and distribution functions for the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., the Montvale, N.J., company that owns Waldbaum’s and A&P stores. A&P closed warehouses in Edison, N.J., and the Bronx, N.Y., when C&S took over distribution in 2005. At the time, A&P said it planned to focus on retail operations, primarily in the Northeast, and it divested its Midwest presence.

McCaffrey said C&S officials notified workers and the union last week of the plan to shutter the Central Islip warehouse, saying it would save the company some $7 million annually. The unions and C&S had been negotiating a new contract.

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Amazon Europe to invest in LOVEFiLM

BY CSA STAFF

LUXEMBOURG Amazon.com and LOVEFiLM International, a DVD online rental subscription service in the United Kingdon, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Germany, have entered into an agreement under which LOVEFiLM will acquire Amazon Europe’s DVD rental business in the United Kingdom and Germany.

As part of the agreement, Amazon Europe will also become the largest shareholder in LOVEFiLM International through a cash investment.

The companies reported that once the deal is complete, the LOVEFiLM subscriber base will total over 900,000 customers predominantly in the United Kingdom and Germany, but also in the Nordics (Sweden, Norway, and Denmark).

“As one of Europe’s largest online DVD rental businesses, LOVEFiLM is well established to serve customers’ increasing demand for entertainment,” said Greg Greeley, Amazon’s vp of European retail. “Our investment will enable LOVEFiLM to grow the business further and we are excited to be part of their future.”

Amazon Europe will continue to operate the DVD rental business on behalf of LOVEFiLM for a period of time following the close of the transaction to ensure an efficient transition and smooth customer experience. No staff reductions are planned at Amazon’s German or United Kingdom operations as a result of the business transfer.

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Aldi to open new Fla. DC, HQ

BY CSA STAFF

HAINES CITY, Fla. Aldi last week reported that it has broken ground on a new Florida headquarters and distribution center. The facilities will support 25 new stores opening in central Florida in fall 2008 and employ about 100 people, Aldi said.

“We’re looking forward to becoming a part of the central Florida community and bringing great food and good jobs to the area,” said David Behm, Aldi division vp. “Grocery customers can expect a bill up to 50% less than anywhere they shop now, and employees can expect a great working environment with well-paying jobs. We’re excited to bring these benefits to the area as we continue our expansion all along the East Coast.”

According to Aldi, the $40 million, 500,000-square-foot distribution center will service stores in the Tampa, St. Petersburg and Orlando areas that will begin opening in September.

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