Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Delhaize may pull the plug on Bottom Dollar

Food Trade News reported in its August issue that Bottom Dollar Foods, a division of Delhaize America, "has reportedly felt enough competitive heat and is exploring the sale of its 66 stores located in Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey and Northeast Ohio." 46 of the 66 stores are in the Greater Philadelphia market.

Reportedly several retailers received profile sheets in July and bids for the stores were due on August 13. In addition, Food Trade News learned that Wells Fargo is serving as Delhaize America's investment advisor.

Analysts believe that Delhaize is trying to sell all 66 stores rather than sell individual locations or groups of stores. Supervalu (Save-A-Lot) and Aldi are leading contenders.

According to information that Food Trade News obtained, all but 10 Bottom Dollar stores are leased. The stores typically have significant term remaining and rents of about $10-$12 per square foot, although they range from $1.76 (most likely a ground lease) to $26.23. Store sizes run from 16,848 to 30,352 square feet, with most closer to 20,000 square feet. Weekly sales volumes range from $103,000 to $296,800, with an average weekly volume of $156,802. 

Bottom Dollar entered the Greater Philadelphia Market in 2010, and many industry observers were skeptical. Discount operators like Aldi and Save-A-Lot were already in the market, not to mention PriceRite, dollar stores and Walmart Supercenters. 

Referencing Bottom Dollar locations, the Food Trade News story quoted a veteran merchant as saying "You get what you pay for... After seeing what their operating model was it was pretty clear that their questionable site selection would not be beneficial."

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