Visit our Filed page for categories. To browse by specific topic, see our Inside page. For a list of companies covered on this site, visit our Companies page.


Jewel parent’s shares surge on strong profits

A shopper outside of a Jewel-Osco at 370 N. Desplaines in Chicago. (Chicago Tribune photo by Antonio Perez)

Stock for SuperValu Inc., the Minneapolis-based grocery giant that owns Jewel-Osco, soared 20 percent Thursday when the company’s full-year income fell less than expected — despite poor performance in the Chicago and Northeast markets.

The company was able to stem its drop in gross margins, helped by better timing of special offers and more financial backing for deals from vendors. Get the full story »

Expect fewer bags at Jewel-Osco

A shopper outside a Jewel at Roosevelt and State Street, April 29, 2008. (E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune)

Jewel-Osco parent Supervalu Inc. hopes to save millions of dollars a year by training workers to avoid double-bagging, putting more items in each bag or skipping the bag altogether.

“We’re in a very competitive industry. Anything we can do to lower our expenses will help us keep our prices as fair as possible,” says Supervalu spokesman Mike Siemienas. Get the full story »

Freezing weather knocks ‘T’ out of BLTs

Freezing weather across the South and Mexico recently damaged such crops as tomatoes, cucumbers and bell peppers, leading to shortages and price increases. It’s left some restaurants scrambling to revamp such staples as sandwiches and salads.

“It’s sort of like the perfect storm — Florida, Texas and Mexico all get hit with unseasonably cold weather, which decreased the yields of tomatoes and cucumbers,” said Gary Karp, executive vice president for Technomic, a food market-research firm. “It’s going to take about 60 days or so before new tomatoes and other replacement products can come to market.” Get the full story »

Jewel-Osco president to retire

Jewel-Osco’s president for the past four years has announced plans to retire, and parent company Supervalu Inc. is sending an executive from its Eden Prairie, Minn., headquarters to replace him.

The change in leadership comes at a time when Supervalu is struggling to remain competitive against rivals like Wal-Mart, Target and even drugstore chains that have greatly expanded their selection of grocery items.

Keith Nielsen, who started working at Jewel more than 40 years ago as a grocery store clerk, will retire, effective Feb. 28. Succeeding him will be Brian Huff, currently senior vice president of specialty retail at Supervalu, who will join Itasca-based Jewel on Feb. 7. Get the full story »

Jewel to close Chicago Lawn store

Minneapolis-based SuperValu Inc. confirmed Tuesday that it will close a Jewel-Osco at 6057 S. Western Ave. next month. A Jewel spokeswoman said no further closure announcements are expected at the chain. The store’s 130 employees will be offered positions at other Jewel stores.

In a statement, the company said that “the decision to close a store is always difficult,” but in a challenging environment, the move “will strengthen Jewel-Osco’s overall business.”   Get the full story »

Jewel-Osco parent loses in 3Q, cuts outlook

Supervalu Inc., the third-biggest U.S. supermarket chain, posted quarterly results below Wall Street estimates and lowered its forecast for the year, sending its shares down nearly 8 percent in premarket trading.

The company, which also operates Jewel-Osco and Albertsons stores, said in October that it was preparing new price cuts to win back customers lost to rivals like Kroger Co and Safeway Inc. The promotions did not work as expected, Chief Executive Officer Craig Herkert said. Get the full story »

Jewel asks employees to take time off without pay

A Jewel-Osco at 370 N. Desplaines in Chicago. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune)

Jewel-Osco is offering all corporate employees unpaid time off between now and Feb. 26, representatives for the store’s parent, SuperValu, said. The offer extends to all SuperValu chains, including Save-a-Lot, Acme, Cub and Albertson’s.

The money-saving program is voluntary, SuperValu added, a point that was also made by the union that represents Jewel-Osco employees, Local 881. Union employees cannot be forced to take unpaid time off. The program is directed at office employees, not grocery-store workers.

On Wednesday SuperValu announced that it was closing about 20 underperforming stores in New England, Philadelphia and the West Coast. Stores in the Chicago area will be unaffected, a SuperValu spokesman said. Get the full story »

Supervalu settles Chicago bias case for $3.2M

Supervalu Inc. has agreed to pay $3.2 million to 110 workers to resolve allegations it systematically terminated disabled employees at Chicago-area supermarkets, one of the largest such settlements under the Americans With Disabilities Act. Get the full story »

Jewel-Osco parent sees shares fall after downgrade

The stock price of several grocers fell in trading Tuesday following a downgrade by a BMO Capital Markets analyst.

Analyst Karen Short lowered her price target for Jewel-Osco parent Supervalu Inc. to $11 from $13 and lowered earnings estimates, citing the company’s inability to drive traffic in its stores. Shares of Supervalu dropped 62 cents, or 6.6 percent, to $8.99 in afternoon dealings. Get the full story »

Jewel-Osco parent posts steep 2Q loss

Jewel-Osco parent Supervalu says it had a steep loss of $1.47 billion in the fiscal second quarter due to charges tied to a labor dispute at its Shaw’s chain and employee-related costs. Adjusted to exclude the charges, earnings totaled $59 million, or 28 cents per share. That is a penny shy of the 29 cents a share analysts expected. Get the full story »

1Q net drops 40% at Jewel-Osco parent

Supervalu Inc. posted weaker-than expected quarterly sales Tuesday but said it remains on track for its full-year earnings goals, as it controls margins and costs.

The company, whose shares rose 2 percent, said  separately that Chief Financial Officer Pamela Knous, 56, will leave July 30 “to pursue other career interests.” It expects to fill the position by the time it reports second-quarter results in October. Get the full story »

Supervalu to buy back $70 mln shares

Supermarket operator Supervalu Inc. said on Thursday it will buy back up to $70 million of its common shares through June 30, 2011.

The operator of Albertsons, Jewel-Osco and Shaw’s stores also declared a regular quarterly dividend of $0.0875 a share.

The dividend will be paid on Sept. 15 to stockholders of record on Sept. 1.

Lawsuit: Jewel parent tried to kill Wal-Mart store

Jewel-Osco’s parent company engaged in “dirty tricks” to defeat the building of a Wal-mart store in Mundelein, alleges a lawsuit filed Wednesday in a U.S. District Court in Chicago.

Rubloff Development Group Inc. is suing Minneapolis-based SuperValu Inc., which does business as Jewel-Osco, and a Hingham, Mass.-based consulting firm called Saint Consulting Group, whose Web site describes it as specializing “in winning zoning and land-use battles.”

Rubloff is trying to protect its use of certain documents in court. It says it has in its possession materials “that reveal that defendants orchestrated ‘dirty tricks’ campaigns to defeat or otherwise delay the establishment of new Wal-mart stores at shopping centers” that the Rockford-based real estate developer and another firm were planning. Get the full story »

Jewel, Dominick’s in talks with union in Chicago

Jewel and Dominick’s, two of the Chicago area’s biggest grocery chains, are in negotiations for new contracts for their Chicagoland stores with the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.

“While much progress has been made, we’re still working through wage and a few final language issues,” Local 881 says on its hotline about labor talks with Dominick’s. “We have several meetings scheduled in June and hope to resolve the negotiation issues soon.”

It didn’t return a phone call seeking comment.
Get the full story »