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• Safeway CEO Steve Burd told investors last week during a conference call that his priority in growing the company was to find low-capital investment opportunities such as the Blackhawk gift card business. “Part of our effort to find new growth engines is to look for things that don't have the capital intensity of the supermarket business,” he said. “It's a much better balancing act. Why go into multiple capital intensive businesses?" Bud said that these efforts could be in the form of acquisitions, if the appropriate opportunities can be identified.

• The St. Louis Business Journal reports that Schnuck Markets will close one of its stores – a 54,500-square-foot unit at Arnold Mall that has been open since 1978 – because of “new grocery competitors entering the market.”

• The Boston Herald reports that the “Roche Bros. supermarket chain has agreed to pay its workers more than $283,000 in back wages following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor.

The probe found that 17 supermarkets in the Massachusetts-based chain, including three operating under the name Sudbury Farms, failed to pay overtime wages to some employees. Most of the violations happened in 2005 and 2006.”

•The Seattle Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will investigate claims by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics that one-third of the lipsticks it examined had potentially dangerous levels of lead. The FDA does not have limits for lead content in lipsticks, but has agreed to look into the allegations in the wake of recent publicity about lead levels in toys imported from China.
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