Winn-Dixie to Sell 70 Stores
Jacksonville, Fla., Bankrupt grocery-store chain Winn-Dixie Stores agreed to sell 79 locations to undisclosed buyers for about $38.7 million. Grocery wholesaler and retailer Supervalu Inc. has placed a $9.5 million bid on 37 of the stores, according to a report from The Business Journal of Jacksonville. The 20 potential buyers, who were not named, plan to continue operating those locations as food and beverage stores, Winn-Dixie said in a statement. The 79 stores are part of the 326 locations the company said it intends to sell as part of a new “store footprint” strategy. “We are working hard to find buyers for additional stores who will continue to operate them as well as offer employment opportunities for our associates,” said Peter Lynch, president and CEO, in a prepared statement. Subject to court approval, the company anticipates that these sales would begin on or about Aug. 1, and be completed in early to mid-September.
Panera Bread to Expand in California
Richmond Heights, Mo., Panera Bread announced a franchise agreement with Pangenera, LLC for expansion in California. The group plans to develop 15 bakery-cafes in San Mateo, Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties by 2010. Panera Bread currently operates 773 units (243 company-owned and 530 franchised).
Chain Store Sales Fall in Latest Week
New York City, U.S. chain store sales fell 1% for the week ended May 28, compared to a 0.2% dip the previous week, according to a joint report from the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and UBS. Cooler weather slowed consumer purchases of seasonal goods, taking the index to its lowest reading in nine weeks, according to the report. Sales for the same week a year ago rose 3.1%, after a 3.7% increase the preceding week.
“With the industry facing a tough comparison in May 2005 against May 2004’s 5.7% increase and less-than-favorable weather, the industry performed reasonably well over the past four weeks,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC chief economist and director of research, in a statement.