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Weis Markets expands mid-Atlantic presence through acquisition

BY Michael Johnsen

SUNBURY, Pa. – Weis Markets on Thursday announced it has reached a definitive agreement with Food Lion to purchase the assets of 38 Food Lion supermarket locations operating in the states of Maryland, Virginia and Delaware. The company plans to complete the purchase of these locations pending regulatory approval.

"This transaction provides us the opportunity to expand into markets that are contiguous to our current trade area, particularly in Maryland where we are adding 21 stores — essentially doubling our store count in a state where we have steadily grown in recent years," stated Weis Markets chairman, president and CEO Jonathan Weis. "We're also looking forward to expanding our operations into two adjacent states with the addition of 13 stores in Virginia and four in Delaware."

Weis Markets expects to complete the conversion process for the majority of these stores in September and October.

This is the company's second major acquisition in 2016. In May, it announced plans to purchase five Mars Super Markets in Baltimore County, Maryland, a deal expected to close later this summer.

When both purchases are complete, Weis Markets will have increased the number of its operating stores by more than 25% and will operate 202 stores in seven states: Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and West Virginia.

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Walmart enters strategic relationship with global ad and PR agency Publicis Groupe

BY Michael Johnsen

PARIS – Publicis Groupe, a global leader in marketing and business transformation services, and Wal-Mart Stores, announced Tuesday the launch of a new strategic relationship that will give Walmart unfettered access to all of Publicis Groupe`s agencies and resources.

"Our ambition globally is to make every day easier for busy families, and having best-in-class marketing is critical to achieving that goal," stated Doug McMillon, president and CEO Walmart Stores. "This relationship with Publicis Groupe will help us think and act differently, which will ultimately enable us to serve our customers even better."

"This relationship is the direct result of Publicis' new approach, `the Power of One,` which is designed to deliver end-to end solutions for our clients," Maurice Lévy, chairman and CEO of Publicis Groupe. "Walmart is already implementing innovative approaches to reach its customers.  Our goal is to leverage all of Publicis' assets – not just the resources of one agency – to help them in these efforts."

The relationship, which is not exclusive, went into effect on July 1 and initially applies to Walmart`s US advertising and in-store creative for which Publicis Groupe will function as the primary Agency of Record. The relationship will be led by Arthur Sadoun, CEO of Publicis Communications.

The new entity will focus on how Publicis Groupe and Walmart will partner on advertising and marketing efforts as the companies together navigate the future of retail.

Walmart will also have access to resources outside of marketing, including capabilities to support corporate reputation and technology that builds relationships with customers.

 

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Roundy’s CEO to retire after almost 50 years in the grocery business

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI – Kroger on Tuesday announced the retirement of Roundy's CEO Bob Mariano, effective Sept. 1, after which he will serve as strategic adviser to Kroger and Roundy's for two years.

Operations will continue to run as they are, Kroger reported. Don Rosanova, president of Mariano's, and Michael Marx, president of Roundy's Supermarkets Wisconsin, will continue to serve in their current roles leading the two supermarket divisions.

"Bob has been a tremendous leader for Roundy's and the entire supermarket industry," stated Rodney  McMullen, Kroger chairman and CEO. "The centerpiece of his career, of course, is the Mariano's chain of stores in his hometown of Chicago," he said. "We see a bright future ahead for our Pick 'N Save and Metro Market stores in Wisconsin and for Mariano's stores in Chicago. And we look forward to our continued partnership with Bob as a strategic consultant and advisor. The entire Kroger and Roundy's family extends our best wishes to Bob and his family in retirement."

Mariano, 66, began his career in the grocery industry in 1967, when he worked as a part-time deli clerk at Dominick's supermarket in Chicago. He served in various roles of increasing responsibility, including SVP, before being named president and CEO of Dominick's in 1995. He led the company through an initial public offering in 1996 before the company was purchased by Safeway in 1998. Mariano took on leadership of Roundy's Supermarkets in 2002.

Roundy's opened the first store under the Mariano's banner in 2010 in Arlington Heights, a suburb of Chicago. Today there are 34 Mariano's store locations throughout the Chicago area.
 

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