Safeway Applauds Union Pact in Las Vegas
Pleasanton, Calif., Safeway said it was pleased that members of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 711 in the Las Vegas area have ratified a new three-year collective bargaining agreement. The agreement covers approximately 1,500 employees of Safeway-owned Vons stores in and around Las Vegas.
Dollar General Disputes Merger Claim
Goodlettsville, Tenn., Dollar General Corp. said reports that it is seeking to acquire a chain of convenience or grocery stores was inaccurate. “The company has no current plans to make such an acquisition,” according to a statement released today. The report appeared on the Mergermarket.com Web site.
Sears Sales and Profit Decline in Q4
Hoffman Estates, Ill., In the fourth quarter ended Jan. 1, Sears’ profits had nowhere to go but down. The chain posted net income of $378 million, a far cry from $2.7 billion in the year-ago quarter, when the sale of the chain’s credit-card business boosted net income dramatically. Merchandise sales and services revenues for the 2004 fourth quarter were $9.6 billion, compared with $10.2 billion in the prior-year period, which contained an extra week.
“Fourth-quarter earnings and revenues met our expectations, with control of costs and expenses offsetting margin pressure,” said chairman and CEO Alan J. Lacy. “As we forecasted in October, domestic comparable-store sales were flat during the fourth quarter, with sales increases in October and November offset by a decline in December. The year was marked by further restructuring and repositioning of our core retail business, which slowed short-term results, but positions us well for the future.”
Sears is preparing for its merger with Kmart Corp. to take effect early this year, creating the third-largest U.S. chain, in terms of sales, behind Wal-Mart Stores and The Home Depot.