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Malt liquors disappear from Utah retail shelves

BY Jenna Duncan

SALT LAKE CITY Last week, Utah saw a new state law go into effect—one that banned the sale of malt liquor beverages from convenience and grocery stores. Additionally, Utah’s state liquor control commissioners have ordered every type of flavored malt drinks to be relabeled with language that clearly states they contain alcohol.

Alcohol drinks such as Bacardi, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, Smirnoff Ice and Sparks were pulled from shelves, with the condition that they would now only be available in state-run liquor stores. And just a little over a week after the ban took effect, it seems that malt beverages are nary to be found anywhere in the state, reports have said.

Sharon Makay, Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s spokeswoman told the press that she believes very few bottles of flavored malt beverages are in any of the state-run stores. This is likely a result of the great task and expense that brewers would have relabeling all of relabeling beverages for Utah. A-B’s spokesman, Andrew Baldonado, for example, has already stated that Bacardi Silver and Tequiza malt drinks will not longer be shipped to Utah.

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Safeway announces its Q3 earnings for 2008

BY Jenna Duncan

PLEASANTON, Calif. Safeway today reported a net income total of $199.7 million, or $0.46 per diluted share, for 2008’s third quarter. This total compares to its net income for the same time 2007, $194.6 million, or $0.44 per diluted share.

Safeway said that its total sales were up by 3.9 percent, totaling $10.2 billion for the third quarter 2008, up from last year’s third quarter total of $9.8 billion. The company said that the rise was caused by profits from Safeway’s Lifestyle stores as well as an increase in fuel prices. Same-store sales were up 2.8 percent with fuel (0.5 percent not considering fuel).

“During the third quarter we took action to provide our customers with better everyday values,” chairman, chief executive officer and presiden, Steve Burd, said in a statement. “As we begin the fourth quarter, our sales momentum is building, with identical-store sales (excluding fuel) currently above 1.5 percent, and we are continuing to reduce costs. We continue to believe our diluted earnings per share for 2008 will be in the range of $2.25 to $2.35 for this 53-week year.”

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Meijer adds bulk groceries to its list of online shopping items

BY Jenna Duncan

HOLLAND, Mich. Meijer grocery chain has announced the start of its Grocery By The Case bulk shopping program online.

More than 2,000 dry goods and groceries have been added to the Web site and free delivery is offered for orders over $150, the company has said.

Meijer said it is expanding its bulk offerings to better compete with bulk chain stores, such as Costco and Sam’s Club. It will offer a special discounted delivery charge to elderly customers every other Friday for $3.

Online grocery shopping at Meijer is available at www.meijer.com.

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