retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• In Toronto, the Globe and Mail reports that Toronto-based West Face Capital, described as an "activist fund," has acquired a minority stake in Safeway Inc., saying that "investors are ignoring the value of Safeway’s Blackhawk gift-card business and Canadian supermarket business."

Safeway already has said that it is planning an IPO of a minority stake in Blackhawk.

• The Bellingham Herald reports that Haggen Inc. will open its "eighth and the final" remodel of a Whatcom County Haggen Food & Pharmacy store into its new Northwest Fresh format on Wednesday.

• The Associated Press reports that Royal Ahold will sell its 60 percent stake in ICA, the Scandinavian retailer, for the equivalent of $3.3 billion, to Hakon Invest, a private equity group.
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