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• Albertsons has announced that its instore pharmacies "are swapping white for brown as they transition from traditional white prescription bags to a new recycled brown bag at 1,700+ locations across the United States. The switch to the more sustainable bag is expected to save more than 5,000 trees annually. Made with 100% recycled content, the new bags include 60% post-consumer recycled content, making Albertsons Companies the first major pharmacy chain to offer this type of bag. The fiber in the new bags is certified to meet the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standards for recycled content and is Rainforest Alliance Certified." reports that Ahold Delhaize-owned Hannaford Supermarkets has proposed the building of one of its stores in Fayetteville, New York, about seven miles east of Syracuse …which would be the furthest west that the 190-store Hannaford has ventured to this point.

According to the story, "The chain is looking to move further into New York - and has likely been waiting for an opportunity to move into a market dominated by Wegmans, said Burt Flickinger III, managing director of Strategic Resource Group, a consumer industry business consulting firm. So a foray into the Syracuse market makes sense, he said … Flickinger said he believes the chain can effectively compete against Wegmans - even though the closest Wegmans would be only three miles away in DeWitt.

"Hannaford’s store would be smaller - 53,000-square-feet compared to the 152,000-square-foot Wegmans in DeWitt."

• The Wall Street Journal reports that a group of fashion executives - "led by Sam Ben-Avraham, who founded the hip New York retail store Atrium in the 1990s as well as the streetwear brand Kith and also operates fashion trade shows" - is preparing to submit a $220 million bid to acquire bankrupt Barneys New York.

The story notes that "Barneys filed for bankruptcy protection in August after the landlord of its Madison Avenue store nearly doubled the rent to $27.9 million. As part of its filing, it said it planned to shut most of its 13 department stores and nine warehouse stores, but would continue to operate seven locations, including on Madison Avenue."

The Chicago Tribune reports that Sears "has agreed to set aside $3 million to compensate the beneficiaries of retired employees who died after the bankrupt retailer canceled their life insurance benefits in March … Sears, which filed for Chapter 11 reorganization last October, ended the roughly 29,000 retired employees’ life insurance benefits shortly after selling most of its remaining assets to Transform Holdco, an entity controlled by Sears’ former CEO and largest shareholder, Edward Lampert, and his hedge fund."

However, "Attorneys representing retirees argued Sears gave up the right to end the benefits in a 2001 settlement deal after the company made cuts to life insurance coverage."

The bankruptcy court that has been overseeing Sears' operations still must approve the agreement.
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