Safeway Settles Monopoly Complaint
Avalon, Calif., Safeway has reached an agreement with the California attorney general’s office to vacate one of its two Vons supermarkets there to settle charges that it was monopolizing the town’s grocery business. Safeway had acquired a small independent in the town in 1991, giving the chain the only two supermarkets on Catalina Island. A spokesman for the attorney general’s office said the settlement calls for the landlord of the property where the acquired store is located to seek a new tenant for the space. In the settlement, Vons denied any violations of the law.
Smart & Final Expands in California
Los Angeles, Smart & Final Inc. opened three new California stores in Modesto, Torrance and Gilroy. These new stores bring the total number of stores operated by the company to 249. Year to date, the company has opened 15 new stores and relocated two stores. The average size of the three new stores is about 19,350 sq. ft. The Los Angeles-based retailer of food and food service-supplies operates in six states and northern Mexico.
Wal-Mart Estimates 2.2% Comps in December
Bentonville, Ark., Wal-Mart Stores’ latest estimate for December comparable-store sales is 2.2%—at the low end of its original estimate of 2% to 4% gain. The company said strong demand for gift cards would have the effect of pushing many sales from December into January, when gift card recipients redeem their cards for merchandise. Many analysts were expecting sales closer to 3%.