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Hy-Vee chief executive Ric Jurgens to retire

BY Alaric DeArment

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Ric Jurgens, chairman and CEO of Midwestern supermarket chain Hy-Vee, will retire on June 1, the company said Wednesday.

Jurgens, 62, began working for Hy-Vee 42 years ago while a student at Iowa State University, taking a full-time position after his graduation. In 1995, he was named SVP and chief administrative officer, becoming president in 2001, CEO in 2003 and chairman in 2006. Jurgens said he will ask the company’s board of directors to elect president and COO Randy Edeker as chairman and CEO.

"I feel extremely fortunate to have spent my entire career working for a great company filled with great people," Jurgens said. "It has been an honor to lead a team of nearly 60,000 employees dedicated to our mission of making lives easier, healthier and happier, and I’m proud of the things we have been able to accomplish together as a Hy-Vee family."

Under Jurgens’ tenure, the 235-store chain introduced a number of initiatives, such as in-store dietitians, the NuVal nutritional scoring system and the Hy-Vee triathlon. In January 2010, Hy-Vee partnered with Omaha, Neb.-based Amber Pharmacy to form Hy-Vee Pharmacy Solutions, which provides specialty pharmacy services through Hy-Vee’s retail stores. This year, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad named Jurgen co-chair of the Healthiest State Initiative.

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Jerel Golub appointed president, CEO of Price Chopper parent company

BY Alaric DeArment

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — Jerel Golub will become president and CEO of the parent company of Price Chopper Supermarkets on Jan. 1, the company said.

Golub Corp. said Golub would assume leadership of the 128-store chain after a nearly 30-year career with Price Chopper. Current CEO and chairman Neil Golub, who served as president from 1982 to 2010, will continue as executive chairman. The company also is appointing Scott Grimmett, formerly president of Safeway’s Denver division, as EVP and COO.

"It’s gratifying to realize the value of succession planning at all levels of our organization," Neil Golub said. "In addition to mentoring young talent, succession provides for the continuity of values and collaborative leadership style that are so critical to success."

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Stater Bros. releases Q4, full-year results

BY Allison Cerra

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Fourth quarter and fiscal year 2011 both proved positive for Stater Bros., the regional supermarket chain announced Tuesday.

For the fourth quarter ended Sept. 25, the retailer saw a 5% increase in sales to $941.9 million, compared with the year-ago period. For the 52-week fiscal year, sales rose 2.4% to $3.7 billion, the company said. Same-store sales for the fourth quarter and fiscal year experienced a 5% and 2.5% jump in same-store sales, respectively.

Net income for the fourth quarter rose to $6.5 million from $5.9 million in the year-ago period, while fiscal year 2011 net income rose to $26.3 million from $24.6 million in the 2010 fiscal year.

"The economy in our marketing area remains challenging, and we continue to focus on the value we can pass on to our ‘valued customers’ to assist them and their families during these difficult times, so they can get the most out of their shopping dollars," Stater Bros. chairman, president and CEO Jack Brown said. "Our ‘valued customers’ deserve a friendly and satisfying experience on each and every one of their visits to our supermarkets. It is our mission to control costs where we are able as we weather the effect of these tough economic times."

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