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Spartan enacts consolidation plan with distribution center opening

BY Alaric DeArment

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. A Midwestern supermarket operator and distributor has reached an agreement with a labor union over what will happen to the employees when it closes one of its warehouses.

Spartan Stores said Monday that members of the Teamsters Local 337 at its 415,000-sq.-ft. Plymouth, Mich., dry grocery facility would be offered jobs at its distribution center of the same size in Grand Rapids, Mich. The company said earlier this month that it would close the Plymouth warehouse and move operations to Grand Rapids by the end of fourth quarter 2010 as part of a consolidation plan. Spartan operates 96 stores in Michigan under the Family Fare Supermarkets, Glen’s Markets, D&W Fresh Markets, Felpausch Food Centers and VG’s Food and Pharmacy banners while distributing products to 350 stores in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio.

“We are pleased to have reached this agreement with our Plymouth facility bargaining unit employees and to offer job opportunities at our Grand Rapids distribution center,” Spartan president and CEO Dennis Eidson stated.

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Navarro Discount Pharmacies raises money, collects nonperishables for Haiti

BY Allison Cerra

MIAMI Locally owned and operated Navarro Discount Pharmacies and its employees and customers are joining forces to help the people of Haiti.

In the past week, Navarro’s local efforts have raised more than $10,000 and have resulted in the collection of a substantial amount of non perishable goods and vitamins. In store collection programs include:

  • Customers “round up your change campaign”: Customers can round up their change to the nearest dollar in an effort to raise funds for those in need in Haiti.
  • Employee Payroll Deductions: Employees can donate through their paychecks for the months of January/February 2010.
  • Nonperishable item donations: Each of Navarro’s 28 store locations are collecting water, clothing, first aid, medical supplies, etc.  
  • Navarro’s sister company in Miami, Nutri-Force Nutrition, a local manufacturer/marketer of supplements and vitamins, also has donated 10,000 bottles of vitamins and other such nonperishable items as clothes, toiletries, first aid items, baby items, and cases of water.

All monies and goods raised are donated to the American Red Cross.

Navarro Discount Pharmacies is the largest Hispanic-owned pharmacy chain in the United States with 28 stores and approximately 1,500 employees in Miami.

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Walgreens to acquire three El Amal pharmacies in Puerto Rico

BY Allison Cerra

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico Walgreens announced Friday it will acquire three pharmacies from a drug store chain in Puerto Rico.

The El Amal pharmacies are expected to transition to the U.S. drug store chain by the end of February, Walgreens said.

Additionally, Walgreens also agreed to purchase prescription files associated with 11 El Amal pharmacies. Patients currently served by these 11 pharmacies will see notices in the stores and receive letters notifying them of the change. These locations, listed below, are expected to close by the end of the month. Patients will have immediate access to their prescription histories at a nearby Walgreens, or any of the Walgreens stores on the island:

  • Mayaguez Shopping Center, Mayaguez
  • Santa Maria Shopping Center, Ponce
  • Centro Del Sur Shopping Center, Ponce
  • Miramar #540, Arecibo
  • Valle Real Shopping Center, Ponce
  • Yauco Plaza, Yauco
  • Dorado Shopping Center, Dorado
  • Berwind Shopping Center, Rio Piedras
  • Corozal Plaza, Corozal
  • Bayamon Oeste Shopping Center, Bayamon
  • Ave. Sanchez Osorio, Carolina

“Pharmacy is the heart of our business and is a service we take great pride in providing,” said Nivia Santiago, Puerto Rico market VP for Walgreens. “This agreement allows us to quickly provide our innovative pharmacy services to more of the Island’s population. Lastly, we strongly believe in Puerto Rico’s potential for long-term economic growth. We’ve been a part of Puerto Rico for five decades and have witnessed Puerto Rico’s capacity to overcome difficult economic periods.”

The proposed transaction remains subject to the approval of the Bankruptcy Court. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

After the transaction closes, Walgreens will re-merchandise and refresh the acquired stores, incorporating new signage and displays as well as high quality, value-priced Walgreens-brand products and services including complete online and digital photo offerings. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of calendar 2010, with the store transitions expected to be completed by this fall.

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