REAL ESTATE

Simon and BRMALLS sign agreement to develop outlet centers in Brazil

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil — Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group and Latin American retail real estate company BR Malls Participacoes S.A. announced Tuesday that they signed a 50/50 joint venture agreement to develop and own outlet centers in Brazil.

The first outlet center of the joint venture is slated to open in Sao Paulo in 2013.

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FINANCE

Supervalu swings to Q4 loss; will open 50 Save-A-Lots this year

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Minneapolis — Supervalu Inc. reported Tuesday that it swung to a loss of $424 million in the quarter ended Feb. 25, compared with a $95 million gain a year earlier. Results were negatively impacted by charges related to store closures and employee layoffs, but still beat Wall Street expectations.

The operator of the Albertsons, Save-A-Lot and Jewel-Osco banners has been in the throes of turnaround efforts overseen by CEO Craig Herkert. The company generated sales in the fourth quarter of $8.23 billion, down from $8.66 billion in the year-ago period. Same-store sales were negative 1.9%. For the full year, net sales were $36.1 billion, down from $37.5 billion in the prior year, and the company lost $1.04 billion, narrowed from a $1.51 billion loss in fiscal 2011.

“We remain focused on delivering improved value for our customers and meeting the specific needs of each community we serve,” said Herkert, adding that he was pleased with the results of the turnaround thus far.

For the upcoming year, he said that capital spending is projected at $675 million, and that the company plans to complete 100 store remodels and increase Save-A-Lot’s store count by 50.

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News

BJ’s grows local produce program

BY CSA STAFF

WESTBOROUGH, Mass. — BJ’s Wholesale Club is capitalizing on the growing demand for locally-grown produce by launching its "Farm to Club" program in each of its 195 clubs in 15 states. Rolling out this spring and summer, the Farm to Club program includes a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables that will be clearly marked with a special "Farm to Club, Locally Grown" seal.

BJ’s defines "local" as grown in the state, so naturally availability of certain produce depends upon the weather and growing season for each item in each state. The company touted the benefits of buying local produce, claiming that doing so ensures it is at its peak flavor and nutritional value and that the local economy is being supported.

"As a buyer at BJ’s, I strive to provide the very best produce for members," said Rob Johnson, produce buyer for BJ’s Wholesale Club. "The Farm to Club program is very good for both the members who buy the local fruits and veggies and the farmers who are growing our food."

Currently, Farm to Club produce is available in all Florida clubs. For more information on the program, visit Facebook.com/bjswholesaleclub.

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