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Court blocks Mullany from joining CVS Caremark

BY Antoinette Alexander

WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware judge granted Walmart’s request for a preliminary injunction on Wednesday and has blocked — for now — CVS Caremark from hiring former Walmart executive Hank Mullany as president of CVS/pharmacy, according to published reports.

Vice chancellor J. Travis Laster scheduled a trial for early March.

As previously reported, Walmart sued CVS Caremark, alleging that Mullany’s contract forbids him from working for a company that competes with Walmart. In the filing, Walmart said that before Mullany accepted that position, he signed a contract in which he agreed that if he left the company, he would not join or be involved with a company that competes with Walmart for at least two years, the Associated Press reported. Walmart said Mullany has detailed knowledge about Walmart and its strategies, and it would be harmful to the company if he shared that information with CVS.

In the ruling on Wednesday, the judge found that the scope and duration of the noncompete agreement seemed reasonable, AP reported.

In addition, the judge rejected CVS’ argument that it should not be viewed as a competitor of Walmart, and that the noncompete agreement that Mullany signed should not be enforced because he did not work directly for Walmart’s pharmacy operation, the AP reported.

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Shaw’s, New England Patriots Foundation continue to tackle hunger relief

BY Allison Cerra

FOXBOROUGH and WEST BRIDGEWATER, Mass. — A supermarket chain, part of the Supervalu family of grocery stores, teamed up with the charitable arm of a professional football team to donate funds to end hunger in the area.

Shaw’s and the New England Patriots Foundation donated $234,502.33 to area food banks to support children’s feeding programs, including Patriots Kids Cafes, which provide children with 6,750 meals per week at seven different locations in the Boston area. The donation was part of the Scan campaign, a joint fundraising effort established in 2007 to fight hunger.

“The current number of people in need of food relief is tremendous, and that need takes an extra level of urgency when you realize the number of children who are going hungry,” said Larry Wahlstrom, Shaw’s president. “The initiative to help fight hunger is a very important one to both Shaw’s and our customers, and we would like to thank all of those who made this donation to the food banks possible. The generosity of our customers will help ensure kids are getting the nutrition they need.”

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Economy hits Stater Bros.’ fiscal-year results

BY Allison Cerra

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Stater Bros. on Wednesday disclosed a more than 4% decrease in sales for fiscal year 2010.

The California supermarket chain said sales for the fiscal year ended Sept. 26 were $3.61 billion, down from $3.77 billion in fiscal year 2009. Sales for the fourth quarter also experienced a decline, dropping to $897.4 million, down 3.15% over the year-ago period.

Net income for Stater Bros. totaled $24.6 million for the 2010 fiscal year, compared with $34.8 million in the 2009 fiscal year. Net income for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 was $5.9 million, versus $5 million in fiscal 2009.

Stater Bros. leader Jack Brown said that while the chain is facing tough economic and competitive pressures, the retailer is "committed to controlling costs as [we] weather the effect of these economic times."

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