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• The Philadelphia Inquirer has a story about the closing of three A&P-owned Pathmark stores - in Camden, Cherry Hill, and Edgewater Park - because of underperformance.

The story notes that Camden residents now have a neighborhood without a full-service supermarket, and they "will have to wait two years to get another - a ShopRite expected to open in East Camden in 2015. That will provide some relief in a city many parts of which are considered 'food deserts' under federal standards."

• Kroger said yesterday that employees in western Virginia represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) have ratified a new three-year labor agreement that "covers approximately 4,800 associates working in 41 stores from Charlottesville and Lynchburg west to Bristol, in the Princeton area of West Virginia, and in Kingsport/Johnson City, Tennessee.

• The Chicago Tribune reports that Walgreen Co. has acquired Kerr Drug, a North Carolina-based chain of 76 drugstores. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. According to the story,"the deal is expected to close this year, pending regulatory approval ... The companies are expected to operate separately until the acquisition closes. Kerr will keep its name until Walgreen decides 'the best, most effective way' to integrate the chain into its business."

Advertising Age reports that Time Inc. is acquiring American Express's publishing business, which includes such titles as Food & Wine and Travel & Leisure.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but published reports say that the cost was south of $100 million.

American Express said that it is selling the division because banking regulations prevent it from engaging in non-banking activities. The titles are seen as an important edition to a roster of magazines that will be Time Inc.'s core business when it is spun off from Time Warner Inc., a move expected place in early 2014.

• The Los Angeles Times reports that as expected, Ares Management and Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board are buying the luxury chain Neiman Marcus for $6 billion from TPG Capital and Warburg Pincus.

The story notes that, "like other upscale retailers, Neiman Marcus is trying to reinvent its shopping experience for its customers, who are increasingly using their tablets and smartphones to research and buy their designer goods."
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