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Spartan Stores, Nash Finch finalize merger

BY Michael Johnsen

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Spartan Stores and Nash Finch Company on Tuesday announced the completion of their merger. Spartan Stores will use the corporate name of SpartanNash Company, with the official name change to SpartanNash expected to become effective at the annual shareholders meeting in May 2014. 

The combined company will continue to conduct business as Spartan Stores, Nash Finch and MDV in their respective markets. 

"This merger brings together two highly complementary organizations to form a leader in the grocery wholesale, retail and military commissary and exchange channels," said Dennis Eidson, president and CEO of Spartan Stores. "We look forward to leveraging our new platform with its broader customer base and geographic reach to create significant long-term value for our shareholders. 

Spartan Stores and Nash Finch shareholders approved the merger during separate shareholder meetings held Nov. 18. More than 99% of Spartan Stores shares voting on the proposed issuance of stock to Nash Finch stockholders in the merger voted in favor. More than 98% of Nash Finch shares voting on the proposal voted in favor of the merger. 

SpartanNash’s Board of Directors includes seven directors from Spartan Stores’ previous board and four directors from Nash Finch’s previous board. In addition to Craig Sturken, who will serve as chairman, and Eidson, president and CEO, the other members of the board include Shan Atkins, Frank Gambino, Yvonne Jackson, Elizabeth Nickels and Timothy J. O’Donovan — all former members of the board of directors of Spartan Stores — along with former Nash Finch board members William Voss, Mickey Foret, Douglas Hacker and Hawthorne Proctor.

Along with completing the merger, SpartanNash has changed its fiscal year end from the last Saturday in March to the Saturday closest to December 31. This date change results in a transition period with a 15-week third quarter this year versus a 16-week third quarter last year and a 39-week fiscal year ending December 28, 2013 versus a 52-week fiscal year ending March 30, 2013. Approximately six weeks of Nash Finch’s sales and earnings contributions will be included in Spartan’s third-quarter and fiscal year results.

SpartanNash expects that the transaction will create cost synergies of approximately $20 million, $35 million and $52 million in fiscal years 2014, 2015 and 2016, respectively.

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Retail community responds with disaster relief supporting Midwest tornado victims

BY Michael Johnsen

GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. — In response to recent tornadoes and inclement weather across the Midwest, Dollar General on Monday announced it is donating $50,000 to the American Red Cross to support relief efforts and also will collect monetary donations at its more than 11,000 retail locations to further provide aid. Separately, wholesaler H.D. Smith also announced it would match donations made in support of disaster relief. H.D. Smith is supporting the Salvation Army. 

"Our thoughts go out to all those affected from [the weekend’s] inclement weather," Rick Dreiling, Dollar General’s chairman and CEO stated. "In keeping with Dollar General’s mission of serving others, we proudly support the efforts of the American Red Cross and are committed to helping the Midwest communities rebuild and recover."

"H. D. Smith has historically demonstrated its commitment to disaster relief through donation matching campaigns. This time, the geographic proximity of the impacted areas enables the company to provide more ‘hands on’ assistance," the wholesaler stated. "While we partner at a local level, we encourage our customers and colleagues to give to the Salvation Army to aid in the relief efforts."

On Sunday evening, 12 Red Cross shelters were open in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. Workers are also providing help to people in Kentucky and Michigan whose homes were affected.

 

 

 

 

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Kroger provides a variety of opportunities to give this holiday season

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI — To supply families in need with fresh food this holiday season, Kroger customers and associates will be able to purchase pre-filled bags and boxes of food to be added to collection barrels. 

"Kroger has a proud history of investing in our communities and a rich tradition of bringing help and hope for the holidays," Lynn Marmer, Kroger’s group VP corporate affairs said. "In keeping with that tradition, we are making it easy for our customers and associates to support their local food banks and The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign in our family of stores this holiday season."

As a founding partner of Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger agency, Kroger has been engaged in the hunger relief effort for more than 30 years, the grocer stated. Today, the Kroger family of stores has longstanding relationships with more than 80 local food banks.  

This holiday season, customers can also help through a variety of simple donation opportunities. Making a financial donation to a local food bank is as easy as scanning a pre-marked tag at registers, asking the cashier to ’round up’ a grocery order, or place spare change in specially-marked coin boxes at Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Baker’s, Gerbes, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, QFC, Ralphs and Smith’s stores, Kroger stated. 

Customers can begin looking for The Salvation Army’s iconic red kettles at the Kroger family of stores from the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve. Each year, customers and associates generously support The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign that provides food, clothing, toys and social services in the communities where funds are raised.

In 2012, Kroger customers and associates contributed $14.5 million to the campaign, which represents 10% of the total raised nationwide. All funds collected are used locally in the community where the donations are raised.

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