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Publix announces second new supermarket for Charlotte, N.C. area

BY Michael Johnsen

LAKELAND, Fla. — Publix Super Markets on Thursday announced it has signed a lease for a second store in the Charlotte, N.C. area. The store will be located at the intersection of South Boulevard and Iverson Way in Charlotte.

“We are excited to bring Publix to even more customers and associates in North Carolina and look forward to continued growth in the state and in our current operating areas,” stated Maria Brous, Publix media and community relations director.

The shopping center, the Shops at South Line, will feature a 54,975-sq.-ft. Publix supermarket as well as other shops and restaurants. The project also includes two levels of underground parking in addition to ground level parking.

Publix announced in September its first North Carolina store in Ballantyne, located at Providence Road West and Johnston Road, opening in 2014.

The grand opening date for the Shops at South Line location will depend on several factors, including permitting and completion of the store’s construction; however, the opening is tentatively planned for late 2014.

 

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New England Compounding Center files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

BY Jason Owen

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — New England Compounding Center announced the company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The filing seeks to establish a fund to compensate individuals and families affected by a nationwide meningitis outbreak. In papers filed with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts, the company said its goal is to provide a greater, quicker, fairer payout to its creditors than could be achieved through piecemeal litigation.

In conjunction with the announcement, the company appointed Keith D. Lowey, a Principal in the Financial Consulting firm Verdolino & Lowey, as Independent Director of NECC and as the company’s Chief Restructuring Officer.

“This will be a cooperative effort,” said Mr. Lowey, who is responsible for NECC’s establishment of the Compensation Fund and dispersing payments to the affected parties. “We want to establish a substantial fund, and then distribute it fairly and efficiently to those who are entitled to relief.”

The NECC seeks to forge a consensual, comprehensive resolution of claims that will be funded by agreements reached among the claimants, the company, its insurers and other parties with potential liability for the meningitis cases, Lowey said. All such claims will be addressed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

“Many families across the U.S. have been impacted by this great tragedy, and it is difficult to comprehend the sense of loss so many people have experienced. Everyone associated with New England Compounding Center shares that sense of loss,” Lowey said. “We recognize the need to compensate those affected by the meningitis outbreak fairly and appropriately. We hope that by establishing this Fund under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, those families impacted by this tragedy may be compensated as quickly as is possible.”

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Rite Aid shares trading some 40% higher in week following 3Q conference call

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid’s fundamentals are improving, and Wall Street has taken notice. 

Rite Aid stock was up slightly by three cents late Thursday afternoon from its previous close of $1.41 per share. But shares were trading at $1.02 per share on Dec. 19, the day before Rite Aid announced third quarter results. 

As DSN reported last week, Rite Aid squarely beat analyst expectations, as the generic wave and retention of Express Scripts customers helped drive better-than-expected adjusted EBIDTA and produced the company’s first profitable quarter in five years.

The company posted a profit of $61.9 million compared with third-quarter 2012’s loss of $52 million. The chain’s last profitable quarter was first quarter 2008, reported in June 2007.

A big driver behind Rite Aid’s improvement can be linked to the chain’s Wellness+ loyalty card program, which had approximately 25 million active members in the quarter, a 5% increase over the same period a year ago. It was the Wellness+ loyalty program that Rite Aid executives credited for being able to retain the "vast majority" of patients gained through the Walgreens-ESI dispute. According to the company, prescriptions filled at stores open at least a year had gained by 3.6%.

 

 

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