retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) says that its members who are employees of 40 Supervalu-owned Acme stores in the Philadelphia area have voted overwhelmingly to ratify a new contract that runs until 2012.

The employees previously rejected what Acme said was its last, best offer; the company reserved the right to impose contract terms on the workers, but last-minute negotiations resolved outstanding issues.

Terms of the new contract were not disclosed.
KC's View:
BTW…the Philadelphia Inquirer had an interesting piece this week noting that Acme CEO Judith A. Spires essentially laid down the law to employees: "Our business is under attack by the competition now. If we don't change, our competitors will win. That's not good for you or our business."

What Spires was referring to was a shrinking market share as the company faces emboldened competition.

I got a better read on this yesterday when an MNB user sent me an email suggesting that Acme has “been hanging on for years, resting on their laurels (and good physical locations), while steadily milking consumers for higher prices … The prices are outrageous (example- 6 pack of Propel is $5.39 everyday versus $2.99 at Shoprite) and it's just not clear why you would pay more to shop at an Acme versus a Shoprite or Giant. They are terribly undifferentiated and uncompetitive price wise and the market share trend clearly shows what happens when you follow this script.”