REAL ESTATE

Rouses Markets to expand into Alabama; will remodel six acquired stores

BY Marianne Wilson

Thibodaux, La. — Southern grocery store operator Rouses Markets will take ownership of six former Belle Foods stores in Alabama from Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG), a retail-owner cooperative of which Rouses Markets is a member. AWG and its group of grocers and operators submitted the winning bid last week at the Belle Foods bankruptcy auction in Birmingham.

This is Rouses Markets’ first expansion into Alabama. The company currently operates 38 stores in Louisiana and Mississippi. Three new stores in Louisiana were also recently announced.

Rouses Markets won’t take possession until after the transfer to AWG is complete.

"The stores will already be closed when we take ownership," said Donny Rouse, managing partner of Rouses Markets. "We’re going to keep them closed while they undergo multimillion-dollar remodeling. We’ll be adding in-store sausage kitchens, seafood boiling rooms and other features we’re famous for."

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REAL ESTATE

Nonprofit grocery store Fare & Square opens in Chester, Pa.

BY Staff Writer

CHESTER, Pa. — Fare & Square, the nation’s first nonprofit grocery store of its kind, opened in Chester, Pa. It is the first full service grocery store to open in Chester, a “food desert” area, since 2001.

Fare & Square will sell a full array of food with a focus on fresh products in a 16,000 sq. ft. store with six departments including produce, deli, fresh meat, seafood, dairy, frozen and dry goods featuring brand name and private labels.

"Food deserts are one of the most pervasive problems plaguing cities across the country," said Bill Clark, president and executive director of Philabundance. “Chester has been without a grocery store for far too long, and we are so proud to be able to bring the first grocery store to Chester.”

Chester has been without a grocery store for 12 years, and more than 54% of families in the City must travel too far for groceries, according to a Philabundance Community Survey conducted in July 2010.

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OPERATIONS

Birks & Mayor to change name to Birks Group

BY Marianne Wilson

Montreal — Luxury jewelry store operator Birks & Mayors Inc. announced that effective Oct. 1, its corporate name will be changed to Birks Group Inc. and its ticker symbol will be changed to BGI.

Jean-Christophe Bédos, president and CEO, commented, "The change in the corporate name to Birks Group Inc. better represents our corporate structure as the companies forming part of the Birks Group carry on business under the retail brands of "Maison Birks" across Canada, "Mayors" in the States of Florida and Georgia, and "Brinkhaus" in Vancouver, British Columbia and Calgary, Alberta. Signage reflecting this new trade name will be changed at our current retail stores over time while signage at our new stores already reflects this change."

Birks & Mayors Inc. is a leading operator of luxury jewelry stores in the United States and Canada. As of September 30, 2013, the company operated 30 stores under the Maison Birks brand in most major metropolitan markets in Canada (signage reflecting this new trade name will be changed at our current retail stores over time while signage at our new stores already reflects this change), 20 stores in the Southeastern U.S. under the Mayors brand, one store under the Rolex brand name and two stores in Calgary and Vancouver under the Brinkhaus brand.

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