McCandless OKs Land Development Plan For Potential Wal-Mart

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

McCandless gave an assist to Wal-Mart in its plan to build a store by speeding through the approval process, two attorneys said during a contentious council meeting Monday night.

“I wouldn’t be standing here if this wasn’t the most egregious consideration of a big box in my more than 32 years of experience,” said William Sittig, an attorney representing O’Hara-based Giant Eagle Inc.

The town council voted 5-2, with Cynthia Potter and Gerard Aufman Jr. against, to approve Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s subdivision application for a store in a Blazier Drive shopping center between Blazier’s intersections with Ingomar and McKnight roads. The council also voted 4-3, with Potter, Aufman and William McKim against, to approve a land development plan.

Wal-Mart plans to demolish two commercial buildings on Blazier Drive and replace them with a 150,000-square-foot supercenter that will include a grocery store, auto center and drive-through pharmacy.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/6462288-74/mart-wal-council#ixzz38ruqXvcW
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Weis To Open Its First Beer Cafe In York County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jennie Conboy is looking forward to the day when she can buy groceries and beer at the same time.

“It can’t come soon enough,” said the loyal Weis shopper from West York.

Her grocery store of choice is at 1800 Roosevelt Ave. in West Manchester Township, and that Weis location is soon adding a beer cafe.

Weis hopes to begin construction on the beer cafe in the coming weeks, according to company spokesman Dennis Curtin.

Read more: http://www.yorkdispatch.com/breaking/ci_26215034/weis-open-its-first-beer-cafe-york-county

Beef Prices Reach Highest Level Since 1987

English: Australian Brangus steer

English: Australian Brangus steer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) – The highest beef prices in almost three decades have arrived just before the start of grilling season, causing sticker shock for both consumers and restaurant owners – and relief isn’t likely anytime soon.

A dwindling number of cattle and growing export demand from countries such as China and Japan have caused the average retail cost of fresh beef to climb to $5.28 a pound in February, up almost a quarter from January and the highest price since 1987.

Everything that’s produced is being consumed, said Kevin Good, an analyst at CattleFax, a Colorado-based information group. And prices likely will stay high for a couple of years as cattle producers start to rebuild their herds amid big questions about whether the Southwest and parts of the Midwest will see enough rain to replenish pastures.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140412_ap_47ea27a0b2244eaea2cabae2a074edb6.html#1ZmJqCrp08y35k34.99

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Norristown Neighborhood Grocery Gets A Boost

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NORRISTOWN, PA — The little corner grocery store is making a comeback in Norristown.

The Spanish word “mina” means “mine” in English, and Mina Mart owner Ivonne Patino is hoping her new venture proves to be the proverbial gold mine that confirms her backers’ faith in her business.

Opened in February in the former La Mina bar at the corner of Arch and Airy streets, the bright, clean store/restaurant with all the grocery essentials, from toilet paper to fresh bananas, as well as a growing menu, got a financial boost of $19,650 from the U.S. Small Business Administration Thursday.

The loan that allowed Mina Mart to open its doors is the latest successful endeavor of the Norristown Small Business Assistance Center, a partnership of the Municipality of Norristown and The Enterprise Center Capital Corp. of Philadelphia.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/business/20140410/norristown-neighborhood-grocery-gets-a-boost

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Acme Parent Company Buys Safeway for $9 Billion

Acme Markets’ corporate parent, the Albertsons grocery-store chain, on Thursday purchased Safeway Inc., for about $9 billion.

Albertsons is controlled by an investor group led by Cerberus, a New York-based private-equity firm. Other investors included Philadelphia-based Lubert-Adler Partners, Kimco Realty Corp., Klaff Realty L.P., and Schottenstein Real Estate Group.

With the purchase of Safeway, the group will now control about 2,400 grocery stores, making it one of the largest chains in the country.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140307_Acme_parent_company_buys_Albertsons_for__9B.html#yfZ07Jksrr6jsbWd.99

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Birdsboro Looks At Plans For A Grocery Store

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When Birdsboro Market closed more than two years ago, Mayor Robert M. Myers knew it was a huge loss for the community.

“I was distraught,” Myers said. “A community of our size absolutely needs a food market of its own.”

Myers tried to drum up interest from other grocery stores and last winter began a petition, collecting nearly 2,000 signatures of residents interested in the project.  Now after months of hard work, the borough presented a plan at Monday’s council meeting to build a full-service Boyer’s Food Market as the centerpiece of a small strip mall in the center of the community.

“Now the residents of Birdsboro will have a place to shop and they don’t need to drive to Douglassville or Exeter,” Myers said.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article/20131210/NEWS/312109907#.UqeQBfRDsxI

Birdsboro To Possibly Get A Grocery Store

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Birdsboro will be getting a new shopping center, and perhaps a grocery store.

M.B. Investments, a J.P. Mascaro & Sons business, signed an agreement of sale with St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Birdsboro, to acquire 5 of the church’s 9 acres to build a small strip mall. The purchase price was not disclosed.

The cornerstone of the site at 5 Brooke Manor would be a 25,000-square-foot grocery and space for additional shops, according to Steve Lusky, Birdsboro borough councilman.

Lusky said he has worked with borough officials for several years to bring a small neighborhood center with a high-quality grocery to the community of about 5,100 people.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=519839

Key Player In Synthetic-Pot Ring May Be On The Run

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsyl...

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsylvania area. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A week after raiding a corner grocery store in southeast Reading, city police are still looking for its owner, whom they said is a central figure in a ring that manufactured and distributed synthetic marijuana.

Eric Cintron, 22, of the 8000 block of Allentown Pike, Maidencreek Township, was charged Oct. 24 with possessing K2, or synthetic marijuana, and conspiring to manufacture and distribute the drug, risking a catastrophe and other counts.

Investigators said Cintron is considered the owner of Cotton Street Mini Market at 14th and Cotton streets, which police raided Oct. 25 along with Cintron’s residence and two other locations.

They said they believe Cintron has fled the area.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=517936

First Nonprofit Supermarket Opens In Chester

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Delaware County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Delaware County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CHESTER, PA. — In Chester, a city where hard times often plow under shiny promises, a hunger-relief agency’s pledge to build America’s first nonprofit supermarket was greeted skeptically at first.

But Philabundance may be confounding local doubters. Its Fare & Square grocery store, seven years in the making, is ready to open its doors this morning, a rare oasis in what has been called a food desert.

“No one believed this was coming,” said Denina Hood, a Chester native and an employee of the store that will become the first supermarket in town since 2001. “But this store isn’t going anywhere.”

Usually in the business of distributing donated food to pantries in the Delaware Valley, Philabundance, a nonprofit, has augmented its mission and become a store owner, charging prices 8 percent to 10 percent lower than small urban grocers.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/first-nonprofit-supermarket-opens-in-struggling-pa-city-705230/#ixzz2gCesc07x

Amity Police Officer’s Theft Case Moves To County Court

Location of West Pottsgrove Township in Montgo...

Location of West Pottsgrove Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN — A suspended Amity police officer will head to Montgomery County Court after a district judge ruled there was adequate evidence to keep all three theft-related charges against the officer.

Glenn Oesterling, 35, a corporal with the Amity Police Department, was stopped on June 18 after allegedly trying to walk out of the Giant Food Store in Upland Square without paying for his groceries.

Oesterling was charged with one misdemeanor count of retail theft, one misdemeanor count of receiving stolen property and one summary county of retail theft.

During Oesterling’s preliminary hearing Thursday morning in front of District Judge Scott T. Palladino, two asset protection officers from the supermarket testified that they saw Oesterling placing grocery items in blue, resealable freezer bags on June 12 and June 18, then bypassing the check-out aisles and walking out of the store.

Read more:   http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130726/NEWS01/130729575/amity-police-officer-s-theft-case-moves-to-county-court#full_story

Aldi Sees Growth And Expansion

WEST NORRITON — Interested in a job with a growing grocery chain that starts you off with a salary of 50 grand?

Career opportunities with Aldi, an expanding international retail giant that operates two stores in our area, continue to abound.

The chain known for its generous salaries and benefits is hosting a hiring event on June 4 for more than 20 manager trainee positions for its regional stores, including West Norriton and East Norriton.

The manager trainee position, which pays $50,000, was created as a relatively quick segue to a store manager position and a $70,000 salary for a 40-hour week, explained Shaun O’Keefe, director of operations, by phone from the Aldi distribution center in Center Valley.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/article/20130603/FINANCE01/130609939/aldi-sees-growth-and-expansion#full_story

Birdsboro Mayor Takes Grocery Store Effort To The Streets

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

BIRDSBORO – Mayor Robert M. Myers is very serious about getting a grocery store back in this community of 5,200 residents.

And while there is still a long way to go, Myers has gotten some results – with the help of more than 1,300 residents who have signed a petition.

So far, representatives from what Myers called a “full service, regional chain” have made three separate site visits to the borough to look at the property on Chestnut Street, the site of the former Birdsboro Market, which closed in 2011.  The most recent visit was just this week.

And while the name of the chain is not being shared at this point, Myers said he remains optimistic about the project.

Read more:  http://business-news.thestreet.com/the-mercury/story/birdsboro-mayor-takes-grocery-store-effort-the-streets/1

Liquor Privatization Faces Slower Senate

HARRISBURG – The confetti has been swept up and the empty champagne bottles cleared away.

The hubbub of news releases, tweets and Facebook postings trumpeting the pros and cons of Pennsylvania’s latest liquor privatization bill has culminated in its passage by the House.

In a nearly straight party-line vote last week, the Republican majority handed Gov. Tom Corbett a victory that he and his allies fought hard for, even though the bill differs radically from his original plan to auction off the 600 state liquor stores.

The compromise plan is designed to phase out the state-run stores county by county, as private operators – beer distributors only for the first year – and others buy at least 1,200 liquor and wine licenses.  It also would allow grocery stores to sell wine.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=463312

Will Buyers Keep, Sell Or Shut Your Acme?

Ailing Acme Markets, one of the Philadelphia area’s largest employers with more than 13,000 local workers at more than 100 supermarkets, will be taken over by a group of private equity firms and real estate investors, its owners said this morning.

Supervalu Inc. “announced today a definitive agreement under which it will sell its Albertsons, Acme, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s and Star Market stores and related Osco and Sav-on in-store pharmacies” for $100 million in cash plus the assumption of $3.2 billion in debt.  The sellers hope to close the sale later this winter.  The deal covers 877 stores including the Acmes.

Buyers are a group led by former Chrysler owner Cerberus Capital Management LP and including Kimco Realty Corporation, Klaff Realty LP, Philadelphia-based Lubert-Adler Partners and Schottenstein Real Estate Group.

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/inq-phillydeals/Acme-Markets-sold.html#ixzz2Hdg8wx9g
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Makeover For Pittsburgh’s PPG Place May Include Grocery Store

PPG Place in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

PPG Place in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A little more than a year after acquiring the Downtown complex, the owner of PPG Place is eyeing a property makeover that could drastically alter the food court and Wintergarden as well as the space fronting Market Square.

Highwoods Properties is seeking to upgrade PPG’s retail space and is considering the option of replacing the food court with a grocery, CEO and president Ed Fritsch said.

“We’re evaluating a number of options, and that certainly is one of them,” he said.  “It is still early on.  I think any Downtown worker or resident … would love to have that type of shopping amenity in Downtown.”

Highwoods paid $179.4 million in September 2011 to acquire the glass castle-like, six-building complex in the heart of Downtown and has boosted the office occupancy from 81.2 percent to more than 90 percent since then.  It also is in the process of making $17.1 million in capital improvements, including new signs and directories and modernized air conditioning and heating systems and elevators.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/makeover-for-ppg-place-may-include-grocery-store-669441/#ixzz2HR7nN5MJ

Milk Might Hit $8 A Gallon, Absent Federal Action

Picture 487Consumers soon could be defying the adage of not crying over spilled milk.

If Congress doesn’t pass a new farm bill or extend the one in place by Monday, the price of a gallon of milk in grocery stores could go as high as $8, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr. said Friday during a media conference call.

Earlier this month, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said lack of action would mean milk prices would be based on permanent law enacted in 1949.

The department would be forced to provide substantial financial support to dairy farmers based on their production costs and start buying up surplus milk, he said.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=439496

The 12 Worst Supermarkets In America

Editor’s note: If you live in Pennsylvania, you will see many familiar names!  Fortunately, I don’t shop at any of these stores :)

Not all supermarkets are created equal.  For many Americans, stopping by a chain supermarket has become a major chore, involving long lines, rude employees, unsanitary conditions and poor selection.  Consumer Reports recently conducted a survey of more than 24,000 shoppers to rank the best and worst out of 52 grocery store chains – and the results show just how disappointing customer experience can be at some megastores.

Read more:  http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Media/Slideshow/2012/04/13/12-Worst-Supermarkets-in-America.aspx

No Wegmans Stores On The Horizon For Berks County

Wegmans Food Markets

Wegmans Food Markets (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Berks County is in the cross hairs of grocery retailer Wegmans, but somehow the ninth-largest county in Pennsylvania has never been the target.

Now Berks falls between a new distribution hub in Schuylkill County and some of its stores.

This spring, the Rochester, N.Y., upscale grocer opened the $70 million warehouse in Cass and Foster townships, Wegmans’ third and largest warehouse in Schuylkill.

The company said in May that the move completes a distribution hub for fresh and frozen foods. More than 200 new employees were hired to staff it. The distribution hub was subsidized with state incentives of $731,650 in opportunity zone and job training money and job creation tax credits.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=394286

America’s Least-Favorite Supermarkets

Editor’s note:  This is SPOT ON!  There are a number of Pennsylvania grocery store chains on the list that you will recognize instantly:

The biggest complaint: too few open checkouts, followed by crowded or dirty aisles.

Shoppers were surveyed on four categories: service (including employee courtesy and checkout speed); perishables (food quality); price and cleanliness.

The highest-rated supermarket chain was Wegmans Food Markets, headquartered in Rochester, N.Y., and operating 75 stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Virginia and Maryland.

Read more to see the wall of shame: http://money.msn.com/investment-advice/americas-least-favorite-supermarkets

King Of Prussia Wegmans To Open Its Doors Sunday

Location of Upper Merion Township in Montgomer...

Location of Upper Merion Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

UPPER MERION TOWNSHIP, PA – “Didn’t there used to be a golf course here?”

There was a gleam in Danny Wegman‘s eye as he cracked a joke, standing on the spot where he and a lot of other folks literally made the earth move – after 16 years of hitches and hurdles.

At a sneak peak of the freshly constructed Wegmans market at 1 Village Drive on Thursday, the company’s amiable CEO said he could hardly believe that his namesake 80th store was three days away from opening in King of Prussia.

The Rochester, N.Y. native recalled how excited his dad, Robert Wegman, was when he first got a glimpse of the North Gulph Road property – then the home of Valley Forge Golf Club – all those years ago.

Read more: http://business-news.thestreet.com/the-times-herald/story/king-prussia-wegmans-open-its-doors-sunday/1