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Jewel-Osco to Purchase 19 Strack & Van Til Stores from Central Grocers, Inc.

Jewel Foods Stores has entered into an asset purchase agreement with Central Grocers, Inc. to acquire 19 Strack & Van Til stores and other certain assets. Jewel-Osco will serve as the “stalking horse bidder” in a court-supervised sale process, which means Jewel-Osco was the initial bidder with which Central Grocers chose to negotiate prior to the auction of assets. The auction is expected to commence on June 2, 2017, assuming court approval of the bidding procedures.

Jewel-Osco, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Albertsons Companies, operates 186 stores across Illinois, Indiana and Iowa, and has been a fixture among Midwest grocers since 1899 when Frank Ross and Frank Skiff launched the Jewel Tea Company, selling tea and coffee door-to-door from horse-drawn wagons. The transaction, if completed, would expand the Jewel-Osco footprint further into Indiana where the chain currently operates four stores, and build upon Strack & Van Til’s rich history of delivering quality, local products and an innovative shopping experience for their customers in the neighborhoods they serve. Jewel-Osco intends to extend offers of employment to substantially all of the current store employees as part of the transaction.

Jewel-Osco does not expect to close any store locations as a result of the transaction, pending the outcome of the court-supervised sale process and customary regulatory approvals.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including approval from the Federal Trade Commission.

Lotus Trolley Bag Now Available

Lotus Trolley Bag, a new patent-pending, eco-friendly shopping bag system that boasts four large bags, has launched on Amazon.com. Designed to help shoppers easily organize and efficiently pack their groceries in a fraction of the time, the Lotus Trolley Bag system is reusable with durable bags that easily spread out, accordion-style, in a grocery shopping cart.

Lotus Trolley BagsEquipped with rods that are designed to fit all shopping carts including those at Costco, Sam’s Club, Albertsons, Wal-Mart, among others, the Lotus Trolley Bag features extended handles, double stitching and wider openings that make it easy to carry and unload groceries. Unlike any other bag on the market, the Lotus Trolley Bag can be made into one bag, with a simple Velcro strip, for easy transit to be placed onto the back of a shopping cart, with no hook needed, while a person shops. At check out when items are on the conveyor belt, the bag is simply placed inside the cart and spread out in one easy motion to make four separate bags. The upright bags allow the bagger to pack the goods with ease with both hands in a fraction of the time. Once at the car, the shopper can effortlessly separate each bag to individually fit in the trunk. Once unpacked, the bags are simply reattached along the Velcro strips and rolled up.

The Lotus Trolley Bag’s unique four bag design includes a large cooler bag that can hold big pizza boxes and it also offers a special patent-pending bag that securely fits two egg cartons and two wine bottles.

The inspiration to experiment and develop a new shopping bag system stemmed from two significant trends, according to Lotus Trolley Bag creators, husband and wife Farzan and Jennifer Dehmoubed. “With the recent ban on plastic shopping bags and the nation’s fever to reduce the impact of bags on the environment, we saw a need for creating quality recycled bags that would not be forgotten at home and also quickly end up in landfills. We wanted to eliminate the need for earth-damaging, animal-hurting plastic bags and tree-killing paper bags. We were also determined to create a bag that was practical, based on comfort, using soothing colors, and lets shoppers get in and out of the store faster.”

The Lotus Trolley Bag system is washable, eco-friendly, and made of recycled plastic that resembles canvas with durable double stitching. The strong mesh on the bottom of each bag ensures spills don’t pool in the bags. While most reusable bags are made of 60-75 grams per square meter non-woven material, the Dehmoubeds wanted to ensure that a much higher standard was adhered to and used premium 120 grams per square meter non-woven material that will accommodate over 70 pounds per bag. The bags are also detachable and can be used at the beach, on road trips, picnics and for gardening and more. The Lotus Trolley Bag comes in an assortment of colors including blue, purple, mint, and khaki.

Lidl to Open First U.S. Stores on Thursday, June 15

Lidl will open its first stores in the United States on Thursday, June 15. Lidl also unveiled the location of 20 stores that will open during the summer of 2017. By next summer, the retailer plans to open up to 100 stores across the East Coast, creating a total of 5,000 U.S. jobs.

“We are excited to open our first stores in the United States in a few short weeks,” said Brendan Proctor, President and CEO of Lidl US. “Lidl is grocery shopping refreshed, retooled and rethought to make life better for all our customers. From our selection of sustainable products like our certified fresh and frozen seafood to top-quality wines from around the world available at market-beating prices, our team puts extra effort and attention into each product we put on our shelves. When customers shop at Lidl, they will experience less complexity, lower prices, better choices, and greater confidence.”

Lidl will offer a simple and efficient approach to grocery shopping, resulting in lower prices.  When entering a store this summer, shoppers can expect to get top quality goods and groceries at up to 50 percent less than other supermarkets in the United States. They can also expect to see the following:

  • Newly-Built, Beautiful Stores and Easy-to-Shop Layouts: All of the stores opening this summer will be newly constructed facilities, featuring a manageable, easy-to-shop layout of 20,000 square feet with only six aisles.
  • Fresh Baked Goods: Customers will be greeted each day with the smell of top-quality breads and pastries, which are baked fresh throughout the day. A bakery will be located at the entrance of each store.
  • Healthy, Sustainable Choices: Lidl is committed to offering a wide range of healthy and sustainable options. All fresh and frozen seafood in the stores’ everyday assortment will be certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP), or the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC). High quality private label products will not have certified synthetic colors, trans fats or added MSG.
  • Organic and Gluten Free Options: The stores will carry a variety of organic and gluten-free items including organic fruit, vegetables, meat, dairy, and packaged food items, which will all be available at the lowest possible prices.
  • Lidl’s Top Quality Products: About 90 percent of the groceries available at the stores will be exclusive brand products. Each product on the shelves will be rigorously tested to ensure that it meets the company’s quality standards. Several items have already won acclaim in the United States, including award-winning cheeses recognized in the 2017 Los Angeles International Dairy Competition.
  • Lidl Surprises: Lidl offers an ever-changing selection of non-food products each week that will be in stores for a limited time. The selection will include fitness gear, small kitchen appliances, toys, and outdoor furniture, among other non-food items.
  • Store Hours: Stores will be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Sunday.
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