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Ahold looks to bring in local/diverse suppliers for its stores

BY Alaric DeArment

CARLISLE, Pa. — The U.S. subsidiary of Dutch supermarket operator Royal Ahold is hoping to attract local and diverse suppliers to its stores in the markets in which it operates.

Ahold USA said Thursday that it had its first annual Local/Diverse Business Opportunity Fair last month. The fair attracted participants from more than 140 companies that were given the opportunity to have their products reviewed by Ahold USA procurement teams for placement in more than 750 stores throughout the Northeast and mid-Atlantic.

“At Ahold USA, we maintain a strong commitment to developing business opportunities with women-owned, minority-owned and regional businesses, and supplying their products to our customers,” Ahold USA director of supplier diversity and trade relations James Sturgis said.

Ahold said its Giant-Carlisle and Stop & Shop chains had similar events in previous years, but recent restructuring had provided the opportunity to have an event that would include all the company’s divisions. Ahold operates three supermarket chains — Stop & Shop in the New York metropolitan area and New England; Giant-Landover in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., area; and Giant-Carlisle in Pennsylvania — as well as Peapod, an online grocery shopping and delivery service.

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Safeway’s Dominick’s division president resigns

BY DSN STAFF

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway on Thursday announced the resignation of Don Keprta, president of its Chicago-area Dominick’s Finer Foods division. 

"Don has contributed significantly to the Dominick’s stores. His commitment and innovation helped the stores evolve to best serve the Chicagoland customers,” stated Steve Burd, Safeway chairman, president and CEO. “We are fortunate that he has produced a team that is prepared to continue to build on our current momentum.”

As president of Dominick’s since 2005, Keprta is credited with opening a number of new stores, expanding the lifestyle store remodels and improving store operating standards and metrics. As a corporate leader, Keprta also was very active in the community, sitting on a number of committees and boards for charitable organizations in the Chicago area. He also served on the executive committee and retail board for the Illinois Retail Merchants Associations and as a board member for the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. 

Brian Baer, Dominick’s CFO and VP finance, will assume the role of acting president of Dominick’s. Baer joined Safeway in 2001 as VP finance for the Phoenix division. In 2004 he became group VP finance, planning and analysis at the company’s corporate office. Baer came to Dominick’s in his current role in 2008. 

Prior to joining Safeway, Baer spent more than 12 years with the Marriott Corp. serving in various financial management positions in operations, corporate finance and real estate development. 

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WHO increases number of approved seasonal flu vaccines

BY Michael Johnsen

GENEVA — The World Health Organization on Thursday announced 11 new manufacturers of the seasonal flu vaccine, a development that is expected to double the number of influenza doses to 1.7 billion worldwide by 2015, according to published reports. 

In all, there now are 37 approved vaccine manufacturers that potentially could triple their annual production to make as much as 5.4 billion pandemic vaccinations in the event of another H1N1-type outbreak. 

Over the course of the H1N1 outbreak, the WHO had come under criticism for not having enough pandemic vaccine production capacity approved. 

GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi are among the major producers of influenza vaccines. 

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