Trade talk

Good morning, Baltimore
Forest Hill, Md.-based Klein’s Family Markets is joining Wakefern Food Corporation, transitioning its seven stores to Wakefern’s ShopRite banner in the process. The alliance marks the Keasby, N.J.-based cooperative’s move into the greater Baltimore market.

“Membership in the Wakefern cooperative will allow us to continue to grow the business we have been building since 1925,” says Michael J. Klein, vice president and purchasing director for Klein’s Family Markets. “Like our own family, many of the Wakefern members are third and fourth generation grocers—joining with other independent retailers will allow us to remain competitive with larger chains while remaining true to what has make Klein’s Family Markets successful.”

Klein’s stores will stock more than 3,000 ShopRite private label items. “Transitioning to the ShopRite banner will allow us to expand our offering throughout the store including a broader selection in our meat, produce, deli and bakery departments,” says Marshall J. Klein, perishables director.

“This is an exciting development for us at Wakefern,” says Joseph Colalillo, chairman and CEO of Wakefern. “ShopRite may be new to the Baltimore market, but we’re confident that Klein’s shoppers will welcome the unique promotional programs and savings that ShopRite customers have enjoyed for years. The Kleins bring with them decades of supermarket experience that our entire membership is sure to benefit from.”

Klein’s becomes the 44th member of the Wakefern co-op. Its stores will transition to the ShopRite banner in the first quarter of 2009.  

The sixth cent

As part of his ongoing effort to make New York City a greener place to live, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is proposing a 6-cent tax on all plastic bags distributed by stores. According to the current plan, stores would charge customers 6-cents for each plastic bag. One cent would go to the store owner as an incentive to comply, with the remaining nickel going into the city coffers.

The planned hike is technically a fee, meaning it only requires approval from the City Council; a tax requires approval from the state legislature. City officials estimate the fee could generate up to $16 million a year.

Some retailers operating in the city, such as Whole Foods and Stop & Shop, already credit customers who bring in reusable bags. However, they don’t fine those customers requesting a new bag from the store.

Brand winners

Four retailers and wholesalers were honored with the Salute to Excellence award at the PLMA 2008 Private Label Trade Show in Rosemont, Ill. last month for their outstanding achievement in creating successful private label programs and overall commitment to store brand excellence.

The companies honored are H-E-B Grocery Co., San Antonio, Texas; Costco Wholesale Corp., Issaquah, Wash.; Navarro Discount Pharmacies, Medley, Fla.; and Topco Associates, Skokie, Ill.

Each year, PLMA invites its members and industry leaders to make their nominations for the retailers and wholesalers who they feel are exceptional in terms of their store brand programs. “The awards give recognition to companies whose store brands broke new ground in terms of product quality and presentation, marketing and merchandising, thereby bringing excitement to their private label programs and driving new growth for the industry as a whole,” says Brian Sharoff, PLMA president. 

Recycling giant

As part of the celebration of the 30th anniversary of its Anheuser-Busch Recycling subsidiary, St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch Cos. has established a website——where visitors can learn more about the importance of recycling and how they can create recycling programs in their own communities. In addition, Anheuser-Busch Recycling is distributing thousands of recycling bins to Anheuser-Busch wholesalers across the country to assist in local recycling projects.

As recycling cans became more popular in the mid 1980s, the existing scrap industry became more interested in purchasing cans. Since the primary business of the company’s wholesalers is to sell beer, they began transferring the can processing equipment over to these new partners in the scrap recycling industry. Currently, Anheuser-Busch Recycling helps its partners advertise and promote recycling of aluminum cans. More than 700 suppliers still have equipment purchased by the company and use it to process and then sell directly to their partner—Anheuser-Busch Recycling.

To date, Anheuser-Busch Recycling has kept the equivalent of more than 460 billion aluminum cans out of U.S. landfills.

“We’re proud of the fact that we’ve helped millions of consumers get involved in recycling and increased their awareness of the environment,” says Trevor Hansen, vice president of Anheuser-Busch Recycling. “Our employees have become recycling experts and enjoy working with local communities to develop creative solutions and educational programs. We try to show people that we can each make a difference for the environment by recycling, even if it is only one can at a time.”

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