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• Pennsylvania-based Weis Markets announced on Friday its intention to invest $101 million in capital improvements, including “new stores, remodels, supply chain improvements and continued information technology upgrades.”

Chairman/CEO Jonathan Weis sold shareholders last week that “this is a disciplined program that is designed to produce long-term benefits. It includes two new stores – a unit in Nottingham, Maryland near Baltimore, which opened two weeks ago, and a store in Randolph, New Jersey, which will open later this summer. We also plan 20 remodels, a fuel center and four new pharmacies.”

In addition, he said, ““Over the past year, we’ve expanded and upgraded our Weis 2 Go online ordering service with curbside pick-up. We recently introduced this service in 25 additional stores and currently offer it in 79 locations. In 2018, we will also test an online ordering delivery service. While we are a brick and mortar operator, we know there is a market for these services.”

Weis also told shareholders that “his company’s 2017 cash flow benefited significantly from a decrease in its income tax rate due to the enacted Federal Tax Reform and that it should continue to do so in 2018.”

• Canada’s Financial Post reports that Fairfax Financial Holdings, which is acquiring Toys R Us stores north of the border for $300 million, has ambitions that go beyond Canada’s borders and is “exploring options to keep a foothold in the U.S. and elsewhere.”

“There’s pieces now we can invest in, pods of stores in the U.S., or elsewhere, and utilize the fact that they’ve got all the systems in Canada,” says Paul Rivett, Fairfax’s president.

Fairfax’s main business, the story says, is “property and casualty insurance and reinsurance and investment.” Fairfax apparently does not see much downside - just the Toys R Us real estate portfolio in Canada is said to be worth $220 million or more.
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