Dominick’s Not For Sale, Not Now Anyway

Discussion
Nov 04, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson

No one can say that Safeway’s chief executive, Steve Burd, isn’t a man who sticks to his guns.

Mr. Burd has been steadfast in his refusal to offer a better deal to striking United Food and Commercial Workers Union employees at the chain’s stores in Southern California.

He has also maintained all along that, while the company was looking to sell its Dominick’s Finer Foods division in Chicago, it would only do so if it could get what it considered
a fair price for the chain.

Yesterday, Safeway announced it was no longer pursuing a sale for the business and would continue to operate Dominick’s rather than agree to sell Dominick’s at “an unacceptably
low price.”

Turning around Dominick’s will be no small feat for supermarket industry lifer Randall Onstead, Jr., the person picked by Mr. Burd to take over the Chicagoland operation.

The Associated Press reports, “Dominick’s registered sales of $1.5 billion through the first nine months of Safeway’s current fiscal year, a 12 percent decline from the
same time last year. Meanwhile, Safeway has recognized $73 million in losses from Dominick’s so far this year.”

Moderator’s Comment: What’s next for Dominick’s?

Safeway should seriously considering spinning off Dominick’s while maintaining a controlling share in the company. The only way Dominick’s rebounds is if
it is left to do business on its own. Randall Onstead needs to be allowed to run his company, his way.
[George
Anderson – Moderator
]

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