Retailers considering expansion to Washington, D.C., attended the Mid-Atlantic Idea Exchange of the International Council of Shopping Centers. Among those expressing interest in the region were specialty grocer The Fresh Market and Wakefern Food, parent of the ShopRite and PriceRite chains.
American Express credit-card holders can now use their cards at any of Food Lion's 1,200 stores and five supermarket chains in the Southeast and mid-Atlantic states, including Bloom, Harveys and Bottom Dollar Food stores.
7-Eleven is actively pursuing its goal of becoming a fully franchised business nationwide and expects to convert 538 of its stores in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia into franchises over the next five years. The company operates 5,600 stores in the U.S., and about 3,650 are franchised.
The Brazilian firm J&F Participacoes S.A., which owns beef exporter Friboi, acquired Denver-based meat processor Swift & Co. for $225 million. The merger will create the largest beef-processing company in the world, the companies said.
Researchers at HP Labs in California are combining technologies into an in-store kiosk system that could reinvent the supermarket experience. The Retail Store Assistant will enable shoppers to input information from home, then swipe a card or enter a phone number at the kiosk to receive coupons, store maps with items noted and special discounts.