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Introducing the new Albertsons

BY Antoinette Alexander

When Albertson’s LLC announced last month that its parent company, AB Acquisition, an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management, signed an agreement to acquire 877 stores from Supervalu in a deal valued at some $3.3 billion — a move that will reunite all Albertsons stores under one operator — it recast the rankings of the industry’s leading pharmacy retailers.

Following the acquisition, Albertsons and its subsidiaries — which will include the Albertsons, Acme, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s and Star Markets, and related Osco and Sav-on in-store pharmacies — will consist of 1,069 stores and 12 distribution centers, and will employ roughly 110,000 associates.

According toDSNestimates, the New Albertsons will have $21.4 billion in total sales and about $1.8 billion in pharmacy sales.

While Albertson’s LLC has indicated that "it’s too soon to speculate about key initiatives or new developments" that will take place following the closing of the acquisition, what is known is that several industry observers are optimistic about the deal.

"We believe that similar to the last Albertsons’ transaction, that this also is a tremendous asset play for Cerberus," stated Citi Research analyst Deborah Weinswig.

In 2006, the Cerberus-led group acquired more than 650 Albertsons stores — a deal that has proven to be a win, thanks in part to store sales and real estate moves over the years.

"In 2006, we acquired a set of stores that lacked investment and were in tough shape, but … we have grown into a solid regional supermarket chain with growing sales. I believe we can be successful again," stated Albertson’s LLC CEO and retail veteran Bob Miller. In addition to leading the new Albertsons, Miller also will assume the role of nonexecutive chairman of Supervalu.

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Fred’s tests pharmacy-centric GetWell

BY DSN STAFF

MIDDLETON, Tenn. — Fred’s Super Dollar is piloting a new store concept called GetWell Drug and Dollar that features a heavy focus on pharmacy, OTC and value-oriented convenience basics. The 8,000-sq.-ft. locations, half the size of a typical Fred’s, will field some 7,500 front-end SKUs, 30% of which will be comprised of health-and-wellness items.

While the store may be smaller, Fred’s has actually expanded its assortment across several nonprescription categories, including analgesics, first aid, digestives and vitamins, minerals and supplements. And there will be no tobacco sold in the store, though a full line of e-cigarettes will be on display.

The four test markets are located in Middleton, Tenn.; Glenwood, Ga.; Leland, Miss.; and Sulligent Ala.

Editor’s Note: The store tour page in the Jan. 14 issue of DSN featured photos of a standard Fred’s Super Dollar prototype store, rather than the smaller-box GetWell Drug and Dollar concept featured here. DSN regrets this oversight.

For more photos, click here.

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Weevil Away releases 100% organic pest repellant

BY Jason Owen

OLDSMAR, Fla. — Weevil Away, a 100% organic pest repellant, is a new product that prevents infestations of weevils, roaches and pantry moths that’s safe to use around food, the company said in a statment released today.

The product comes in two forms: a liquid spray for cleaning inside drawers and cupboards and a scent pad for releasing a continuous aroma that’s unpleasant to weevils and other insects but smells great to humans. Weevil Away is not a pesticide, and it’s safe to use in food storage areas without rinsing. The main ingredients of the patented formula include botanicals, such as bay, spruce and mint oils.

"Our product is completely safe to apply near food," said Joe Rodriguez of Weevil Away. "Users don’t have to clean out the pantry, wear masks or vacate the area. The smell is actually quite pleasant to people, but weevils, roaches and pantry moths go elsewhere when they catch a whiff. Anyone who has battled a weevil infestation knows how costly and frustrating it can be to evict these little beasts. Weevil Away works the first time, and users never have to worry about accidentally re-introducing the bugs later."

Weevil Away’s creators recommend first wiping down potential weevil habitats (e.g., pantries, drawers and cupboards) with the spray solution, followed by an application of one of the adhesive scent pads. No rinsing is required.


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