Inside these posts: Grocery stores

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Study: 25% of meat has drug-resistant bacteria

A shopper at a Cub Foods grocery store in Burnsville, Minn. (AP/Jayme Halbritter)

A sampling of grocery store meat in five U.S. cities has shown a type of drug-resistant bacteria is contained in about one quarter of beef, chicken, pork and turkey for sale, a study said Friday.

Staphylococcus aureus, a bacteria that can cause skin infections, pneumonia, sepsis or endocarditis in people with weak hearts, was found in 47 percent of samples, said the study in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. Get the full story »

Kraft to bring Gevalia coffee to grocery stores

Just weeks after losing its contract to distribute Starbucks coffee in grocery stores, Northfield-based Kraft Foods announced that it is prepping a successor, Gevalia. Get the full story »

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 »

Store-brand food seen eating up market share

Safeway Select cookies at a Dominick's. (Terry Harris/Tribune)

Grocery retailers’ store-brand products are expected to double their share of the global packaged food market over the next 15 years to make up half the market, according to a report issued on Thursday.

The report by Sebastiaan Schreijen, associate director of processed food and retail at Rabobank, said growth of private-label brands will be fueled by retail consolidation in developed markets, adoption of modern retail in developing markets, and increased consumer acceptance of private-label brands following the recession, among other factors.

Wal-Mart set to announce 2 more S. Side stores

Wal-Mart will open two more stores on the South Side next year, city officials and the giant retailer announced today.

A store with a grocery and pharmacy will open at the corner of 76th Street and Ashland Avenue in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood, said Ald. Latasha Thomas, 17th, said in a news release.

Target typically undercuts Wal-Mart on prices

Shoppers at a Target on Elston Ave. in December. (Phil Velasquez/Chicago Tribune)

Wal-Mart’s slogan may be “Save Money. Live Better,” but rival Target is challenging it by offering even lower prices on everyday products.

Two recent price comparisons of grocery and household goods revealed that Target’s prices are lower than at No. 1 retailer Wal-Mart.

Craig Johnson, president of retail consulting firm Customer Growth Partners, compared 35 brand-name items sold at Wal-Mart and Target stores in New York, Indiana and North Carolina. They consisted of 22 common grocery goods such as milk, cereal and rice; 10 general merchandise products such as clothing and home furnishings; and three health and beauty items. Get the full story »

Dominick’s parent sees profit beat estimates

Dominick’s Finer Foods parent Safeway Inc. reported a quarterly profit that topped Wall Street’s view as sales trends at its grocery stores improved.

The company, which also operates Safeway and Vons grocery stores, fourth-quarter net profit of $229.6 million, or 62 cents per share, topping analysts’ average call for a profit of 57 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Get the full story »

Kraft says court will hear appeal in Starbucks case

Kraft Foods Inc. said an appeals court agreed to hear arguments over whether Starbucks Corp. can proceed with taking over distribution of its bagged coffee as planned on March 1.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Thursday said it would hold an expedited appeal, according to Kraft, which must file its argument by Feb. 9. A final ruling on the appeal could come by the end of the month.

Kraft planned to appeal last Friday’s ruling, where the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York denied a preliminary injunction that would block Starbucks from taking over the distribution from Kraft in just a couple of weeks. Get the full story »

Kraft loses bid to keep distributing Starbucks

A federal judge rejected Kraft Foods’ bid to force Starbucks Corp to keep using Kraft to distribute packaged coffee to supermarkets in North America and Europe, a decision that allows Starbucks to move ahead with a new partner.

In a ruling from the bench, U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel in White Plains, New York, on Friday also noted that Starbucks could end up owing Kraft “a boatload of money” if an arbitrator decided the coffee chain breached a 1998 agreement with Kraft. 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 »

Walgreens to expand fresh food offerings at stores

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley tours a Walgreens store at 1533 67th Place in Chicago. (Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune)

Walgreen Co. plans to expand its fresh food offerings in several hundred stores in coming years, company chief executive officer Greg Wasson told shareholders this afternoon.

Addressing 2,500 shareholders at the company’s annual meeting at Navy Pier on Chicago’s lakefront, Wasson said such stores fit the company’s strategy to evolve from a “retail drugstore to a retail ‘health and daily living store.’”

Walgreen Co., which offers more and more health and wellness needs, began to test out fresh foods such as fruits and vegetables last year, particularly in poor urban markets where access to healthy food choices is a problem. 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 »

Starbucks: Kraft interfering with grocery transition

Starbucks Corp. told a federal judge it gave Kraft Foods Inc. ample warning of its plans to end their grocery partnership and that the food maker is now standing in the way of an orderly break-up.

In legal filings on Thursday, the world’s biggest coffee chain asked U.S. District Court Judge Cathy Seibel to deny Kraft’s request to stop Starbucks from ending their 12-year-old deal and moving the business to a new partner. 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 »