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Penn Traffic files for Ch. 11, to sell stores

BY Alaric DeArment

SYRACUSE —Northeast supermarket operator Penn Traffic Co. announced Nov. 18 that it had filed for Chapter 11 protection after receiving an Oct. 30 notice from its creditors that it was in default. Pending Bankruptcy Court approval, the company plans to sell off its stores and other assets and lay off its employees in the process. In a Nov. 30 statement, however, the company said it had not found any buyers for its 79 stores, which operate under the P&C Foods, Quality Markets and BiLo Foods banners in New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont and New Hampshire, and include 22 supermarket pharmacies.

“Our P&C, Quality and BiLo supermarkets remain open for business to serve our customers and communities,” president and CEO Gregory Young said in a Nov. 18 statement. “We intend to continue to work closely with our vendor partners to provide the fresh products and good value that our customers have come to expect from our stores.”

Penn Traffic’s demise follows problems that had plagued it throughout the decade. The company had filed for bankruptcy in May 2003, though it managed to emerge from it after agreeing to pay its debts and close or sell off its Big Bear stores in Ohio and West Virginia, as well as 37 other stores.

In December 2008, the company sold its wholesale business to C&S Wholesale Grocers for $43 million, a month after it had closed two stores: one in Oswego, N.Y., and another in Lebanon, N.H. In January 2009, the company announced plans to close an additional eight P&C Foods and Quality Markets stores in New York and Vermont.

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Hy-Vee names new president

BY Alaric DeArment

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa A 28-year employee of Hy-Vee has become its new president, according to published reports.

The company appointed Randall Edeker as president of the supermarket chain Thursday at the company’s annual meeting, succeeding Ric Jurgens, who had served as president since 2001 and will maintain his position as chairman and CEO.

Edeker had previously served as EVP and COO.

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Tricare expands vaccination coverage to pharmacies, clinics

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK Convenience and value. That’s what community pharmacy and their retail clinic partners deliver to their patients. And that’s what the Department of Defense is counting on in covering immunizations at local pharmacies and identifying convenient care clinics as network providers — two separate pieces of news issued within the past month that really underscore the importance of pharmacies and retail clinics in the delivery of health care today.

Prior to these announcements, military personnel interested in getting their flu shots had to schedule an appointment with their doctor, as Tricare only covered the cost of shots delivered in a doctor’s office.

“As a convenient and accessible healthcare provider, pharmacy is uniquely positioned to offer services for patients, such as vaccinations,” stated Steve Anderson, president and CEO for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. Anderson noted that as of earlier this year, pharmacists have the ability to immunize patients in all 50 states. “[This] presents an important opportunity for pharmacists to counsel patients during their visit, and an additional healthcare provider from which to obtain these vaccinations.”

It’s also quite a bit of opportunity for pharmacy — Tricare provides healthcare coverage for 9.5 million eligible beneficiaries. Those beneficiaries pick up almost 2.3 million prescriptions every week, and 1.2 million of those at retail pharmacies, according to Tricare .

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