retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Newsday reports that a federal bankruptcy court has approved the sale of four stores owned by the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. (A&P) - operated under the Waldbaum's and Pathmark banners on Long Island - to family-owned Best Yet Market, for a total of $8.5 million.

Virginia Business reports that Germany-based discounter Lidl has broken ground on a new US regional office and distribution center in Virginia's Spotsylvania County, a $125 million facility located on an 82-acre site. The story notes that "Lidl will soon open the company’s U.S. headquarters in Arlington County. In total, Lidl is investing more than $200 million in its operations in Virginia and has pledged to create a total of 700 new jobs in the state by 2018."

In other words, Lidl is coming.

• The Denver Post reports that Alfalfa's - a reinvention of the chain that first began operations in the eighties and eventually sold to Whole Foods - plans to open a third store "in or near Denver."

The new Alfalfa's opened its first store in Boulder in 2011 and a second store n Louisville in 2014.

The story notes that privately held Alfalfa's recently raised $3.7 million designed to help it clean up its balance sheet and fund the opening of a new "natural" foods store.

• The Washington Post reports that the US Senate has passed "a cybersecurity bill that would give companies legal immunity for sharing data with the federal government, over the protests of some lawmakers and consumer advocates who say that the legislation does not adequately protect Americans’ privacy." The bill now has to be reconciled with the version of the bill passed by the House of Representatives; the bipartisan legislation is certain to be signed into law by President Obama.

• The Orlando Sentinel reports that "Winn-Dixie Stores is changing the sales strategy at its supermarkets by permanently discounting high-volume staples ... About 1,500 items in all are getting discounts, on average about 20 percent. A typical Winn-Dixie carries about 30,000 products."

The story notes that Winn-Dixie said "that customer surveys have prompted the 518-store grocery chain to lower prices permanently on items such as toilet paper, cereal, mayonnaise and others."
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