The Supply Side: Retailer business briefs

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 91 views 

• Federal authorities seize 14 franchises of 7-Eleven
Convenience store giant 7-Eleven said it will require an internal review of personnel records among its 5,600 franchise owners after federal authorities seized 14 stores in New York and Virginia this week.

The owners of the 7-Eleven franchise stores allegedly forced undocumented workers with stolen identities to work 100 hours a week for a fraction of their wages, according to federal authorities.

A federal investigation that found the workers from Pakistan were given identities stolen from children and the deceased.

Farrukh Baig, his wife Bushra, and seven others were charged with fraud, identity theft and concealing illegal immigrants to work in their stores. Court records said they employed illegal workers since 2000, forced them to work long hours for less pay and required them to live in residences owned and controlled by the store owners.

The federal probe has widened to 40 locations in seven states, including Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York.

7-Eleven previously said it will take aggressive actions to audit the employment status of all its franchisees' employees" and pledged full cooperation with the federal probe.

• Safeway exits Canada
The grocery landscape in Canada continues to shift with Safeway selling its 223 store operation to Sobey’s.

The all cash deal will fetch Safeway $5.8 billion, about $2 billion will be used to reduce debt. Last year Safeway’s Canada business generated $6.7 billion in sales.

Sobey’s is a Canadian food retailer and a wholly owned subsidiary of Empire Company Limited.

"We are pleased to enter into this agreement with Sobeys in order to realize the higher multiples attributed to Canadian supermarket companies," said Robert Edwards, president and CEO of Safeway.

"The substantial cash proceeds from this transaction will allow us to create value for Safeway stakeholders and contribute to the growth of the ongoing business."

The deal is expected to close during the fourth quarter.

• Zimmer shown the door at Men’s Wearhouse
Men’s Wearhouse terminated company founder and executive chairman George Zimmer on Wednesday and postponed its annual meeting.

No explanation was offered for Zimmer’s termination, but the company indicated the board of directors, "expects to discuss with Mr. Zimmer the extent, if any, and terms of his ongoing relationship with the company."

Zimmer’s phrase “I guarantee it” became synonymous with the men’s specialty store he founded in 1973. Men’s Warehouse has 1,239 stores.

The company was scheduled to hold its annual shareholders meeting on June 19, but due to Zimmer’s termination said it would reschedule the event to allow time to nominate a slate of directors that excludes Zimmer.