retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reports that "Supervalu Inc. will explore more wholesale-distributor acquisitions in the future as the Eden Prairie-based grocery company continues to shop around its underperforming retail stores to potential buyers."

CEO Mark Gross says that as Supervalu finalizes its purchase of Unified Grocers, it will seek out new opportunities in the same vein. "Showing people we can do that deal and showing our customer base that that integration goes smoothly should lead to other opportunities," Gross says. "There are other smaller distributers and we would think those people would see that transaction and say they would want to be a part of our larger organization."

The story also notes that Supervalu's declining sales in its retail division is at least one of the reasons that it wants to put more of an emphasis on wholesale.

• Albertsons announced yesterday that it has acquired MedCart Specialty Pharmacy - described as an "industry-leading, URAC accredited, pharmaceutical and healthcare provider of customized specialty care services and medication management for patients and physicians addressing complex diseases" - as a way "to strengthen and extend its pharmacy specialty services" business.

Business Insider reports that Wegmans' first New York City location - a Brooklyn store first announced in 2015 - won't be opening "until much later than expected," probably sometime in mid-2019.

The store originally was slated to be opened this year, then was pushed back until 2018. However, the company is still waiting for the developer to finish building on the site, after which it will take Wegmans a year to get the 74,000 square foot location ready for customers.

• Upstate New York-based Tops Friendly Markets said yesterday that it has acquired the Shurfine Grocery Store located at 9049 Erie Road, Angola, NY. This acquisition brings Tops Markets overall store count to 173 in addition to five franchise stores. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
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