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D’Agostino Supermarkets Inc. mourns the death of Neil Buckley

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK D’Agostino Supermarkets announced the passing of its director of grocery.

Cornelius (Neil) Buckley, the company’s director of grocery, health and beauty aids, and general manager died Tuesday morning. Buckley joined the ranks of D’Agostino management five years years ago.

“Neil was passionate about his work, a key contributor to D’Agostino and an extraordinary team player, beloved by D’Agostino associates at every level; he will be missed professionally and personally,” said Nicholas D’Agostino III, president and COO of D’Agostino Supermarkets.

Prior to D’Agostino Supermarkets, Buckley worked at US Merchandise for 10 years. A New York native, Buckley graduated from St. John’s University.

Buckley is survived by his wife, Kathryn and five children.  A private funeral will be held in Long Island, where he resided.

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Rite Aid appoints former executive to board of directors

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid on Wednesday named former executive David Jessick to its board of directors.

Jessick will fill the seat on the 14-member board vacated by George Golleher, who was elected in 2007 for a three-year term and has resigned. Golleher served on the board since 2002.

“George Golleher has been a hard-working member of our board for the past seven years, and we thank him for the many contributions he has made to our company,” stated Mary Sammons, Rite Aid chairman and CEO. “At the same time, we welcome Dave Jessick as a valuable addition, especially with his retail background and in-depth knowledge of Rite Aid.”

Jessick, 55, currently an independent investor, served Rite Aid as SVP, Chief Administrative Officer from December 1999 through July 2002. He then served as a consultant to Rite Aid’s CEO and senior management from July 2002 until February 2005. His more than 30 years of retail experience includes serving as CFO and EVP, finance and investor relations of Fred Meyer, a major northwest food and drug retailer, from January 1997 to July 1999. Prior to joining Fred Meyer, he spent 17 years with Thrifty Payless, a 1,000-store west coast drugstore chain, where he was EVP and CFO when Rite Aid acquired the company in 1996. Jessick also served as non-executive chairman of Pathmark Stores from August 2005 until December 2007, during the time that Rite Aid’s president and COO John Standley served as CEO of the grocer.

Jessick’s term will expire at the company’s annual meeting in June 2010, at which time he is expected to stand for re-election.

Jessick began his career as a Certified Public Accountant. He received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting from Boise State University.

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Weis Markets announces 90-day price freeze on 3,000 items

BY Michael Johnsen

SUNBURY, Pa. Weis Markets on Wednesday announced it has implemented a second 90-day price freeze on 3,000 of its staple items, effective April 16 through July 15.

“At a time when unemployment continues to surge in many of our markets — in some areas to as high as 10% — our Price Freeze Program is designed to offer meaningful, long-term savings to our customers,” stated David Hepfinger, Weis Markets’ president and CEO. “We’ve also expanded our Price Freeze item count to 3,000 products, up 600 compared to our initial program. We estimate our initial Price Freeze program helped our customers save approximately $5 million and hope to save our customers even more in the coming months.”

Of the 3,000 Price Freeze products, Weis Markets first lowered the prices on 2,400 items – and then froze this lower price for 90 days.

The current price freeze program includes private label and brand name products in center store, frozen, dairy, produce, meat, deli and bakery. The Price Freeze program is being promoted in Weis Markets’ current print, television and radio ads. In stores, customers will see special Price Freeze shelf tags on participating items.

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