OPERATIONS

Robert P. Ingle, founder of Ingles Markets, dies at age 77

BY CSA STAFF

Asheville, N.C. — Ingles Markets announced Monday that its founder and CEO Robert P. Ingle died on Sunday at age 77.

Ingle founded the company in 1965 and served as chairman of the board from 1965 until May 2004 and thereafter has served as a director. He has served as CEO since 1965, and president from 1965 until 1982.

His son Robert P. Ingle II has been named his successor.

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STORE SPACES

Fred Meyer partners with ECOtality to install car-charging stations

BY CSA STAFF

Seattle — Electric transportation technology provider ECOtality said Monday that it has partnered with grocer Fred Meyer, a division of The Kroger Co., to install car-charging stations at select stores in Oregon and Washington.

The Blink Level 2 Electric Vehicle Commercial Pedestal Charging Stations will also be installed on major transportation corridors between Seattle store locations and the United States border with Canada.

The deal makes Fred Meyer ECOtality’s first food retail partner in the Northwest.

As part of the agreement, Fred Meyer will become a commercial launch partner for The EV Project.

“Our customers have been clear that they want to take advantage of the emerging electric car market,” said Michael Ellis, president of Fred Meyer Stores.

ECOtality will begin installing Blink charging stations at Fred Meyer stores in summer 2011. ECOtality said it will work with Fred Meyer as well as relevant area stakeholders to utilize the company’s EV Micro-Climate process to determine which stores are suitable for installation. Factors that influence charging site locations include distance to major interstates and transportation routes, and distance to other Blink EV charging facilities.

The Blink Level 2 Commercial Charging Stations incorporate user-friendly features such as fully interactive color touch screens and web-based information delivery via the Blink Network. A Blink Network smartphone application allows users to access charge station locations and GPS navigation, as well as charge status and notifications of completed or interrupted charging.

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FINANCE

Privalia acquires German online retailer Dress for Less

BY CSA STAFF

London — Online sales club Privalia Venta Directa, S.L. said Monday it will acquire Dress for Less, a German online fashion retailer, from Palamon Capital Partners, a pan-European private equity firm.

The acquisition will be funded through a combination of $123 million of new equity provided by equity firms General Atlantic, Highland Capital Partners, Index Ventures and Insight Venture Partners.

Dress for Less founders Mirco Schultis and Holger Hengstler will become significant shareholders in Privalia.

Dress for Less operates a distribution platform in the open site, discount and full-price segments. It has more than 500,000 active customers and a total customer base of one million in more than 50 countries worldwide.

This acquisition marks Privalia’s first entry to the German market, and follows a $95 million financing in October 2010.

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