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BJ’s Wholesale Club reports 3Q results; plans expansion

BY Jenna Duncan

NATICK, Ma. In its third quarter company call, BJ’s Wholesale Club executives told stockholders that the company is planning for greater expansion over the course of the year than previously considered.

BJ’s will open three more stores by the close of the current fiscal year, and, the company plans to open eight new stores in fiscal 2009, the company said.

In the conference call, the company said that net sales for third quarter 2008 totaled about $2.4 billion, up13.4 percent from third quarter 2007. The hike in gas prices padded net income so the total reported for third quarter was $28.2 million, up from $22.7 million at the same time the year prior.

Same store sales, not including gas, were up 6.6 percent, total comp increase of 11.9 percent, the company said. The wholesale chain reported that food comp sales were up 11 percent. General merchandise sales were down 1 percent, the company reported.

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General Mills planning $100 million expansion of its Albuquerque facility

BY Melissa Valliant

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. Breakfast cereal manufacturer General Mills is dishing out $100 million toward the expansion of its Albuquerque plant, according to Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez in his state of the city address Tuesday. The 17-year-old facility, which currently employs about 190 workers, will have 160,000 square feet added, as well as an additional 60 employees. The plant will mainly manufacture snack products, and employees will make an average salary of $40,000.

The Albuquerque plant was chosen for expansion over six to eight other cities because of its low business costs and productive work force. GM needs to first acquire industrial revenue bonds from the city for the project before it can move forward with the expansion. The company anticipates hiring the new employees and beginning expansion near the end of 2009 or beginning of 2010.

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Price Chopper opens store in South Burlington, Vt., promotes EatingWell resources

BY Melissa Valliant

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. Price Chopper Supermarkets opened a 37,000-square-foot super center Tuesday in South Burlington, Vt. In accordance with the grocery store chain’s recent agreement with the EatingWell Media Group, various EatingWell recipes, health guides, cookbooks and magazines will be displayed throughout the store, and health tips and information will be added to the Healthy U page of Price Chopper’s Web site.

The new, South Burlington store will also be included in the grocery’s recently developed “Fuel AdvantEdge,” savings/reward program, which gives buyers 10 cents off every gallon of gas for every $50 of food purchased from Price Chopper. The store is hiring approximately 150 full and part-time employees.

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