business news in context, analysis with attitude

• IGA Inc has named its three US Retailers of the Year: Mike Carper, of Mick or Mack IGA, Newscastle, Va.; Tim Henderson, Henderson's IGA, Valentine, Neb.; and Gregory Lukeman, IGA Bohemia, Bohemia, N.Y. The three retailers will be honored at the IGA Global Summit in March.

• The Grand Rapids Press reports that Spartan Stores Inc. plans to spend $8 million to build a two-story, 40,000 sq. ft., “flagship” D&W Fresh Market store in that city,” capping a stretch of new medical buildings going up along part of Michigan Street known as the Medical Mile.”

• Ahold announced that it has entered into negotiations with Schuitema N.V. in The Netherlands and CVC Capital Partners about a potential divestment of its majority interest in Schuitema’s 50+ stores to CVC.

• The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Australia’s new major supermarkets chains – Woolworths and Coles – “are building their offerings around convenience for time-poor shoppers and fresh-and-healthy products as part of a global trend towards health-conscious living. Shoppers at the leading grocery players will see new products and a changing emphasis in stores.” The story suggests that the time-poor and health conscious shoppers are largely perceived as being the same people…and that the chains will spend upwards of $800 million (US) on refurbishments to appeal to them on two fronts at the same time.

KC's View: