Publix Buys Food City

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Joe

Ashburn, VA

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#1
Jun 24, 2009
 

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Hey, I've heard a rumor that Publix has purchased KVAT Food Stores (Food City). Supposedly it's already a done deal and has been announced. I can't find anything about it other than speculation. Anybody know anything?
Netmom

Knoxville, TN

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#2
Jun 25, 2009
 
I've heard this rumor too, but they're both privately held companies, and there's nothing on either company's website announcing anything like this.
Captain America

Mckenzie, TN

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#3
Jun 25, 2009
 

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The following is an email response I received from Publix after inquiring about this rumor:

"We appreciate your interest in Publix Super Markets, Inc.

At this time we do not have a site approved or planned for Knoxville, TN. And unfortunately due to proprietary information I cannot share with you the possibility of a store opening there.

However, I can tell you that we are always working hard to reach out to new customers and provide better service to our regular customers. Our Real Estate Department does this in many ways and site selection is one of them. We are always scouting out new sites for development and new store locations Knoxville is a great market that we review and monitor on a regular basis. The rumors you have heard regarding a buyout of Food City is false, but we are always looking for new markets to enter.

We do hope that we can bring a more convenient shopping experience to you and your neighborhood in the future.

Thanks again for your inquiry and if you have future questions please contact me."
Joe

United States

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#4
Jun 25, 2009
 
Captain America, when did you e-mail Publix? I'm just wondering because a friend of mine works for Food City and is really worried about losing their job. Thanks.
Captain America

Mckenzie, TN

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#5
Jun 25, 2009
 
I emailed them Friday and received a response Monday. I too work for Food City. I've also got some connections around the company in management, and all of them I have talked to believed the rumor to be one that a vendor had started.
Captain America

Mckenzie, TN

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#6
Jun 25, 2009
 

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Even if there was some truth to it, I think Publix was only interested in the Knoxville area. If they were interested in Knoxville, they have two options. Open up there and compete with KVAT and Kroger, causing the pie to be split into smaller slices. Or they could talk to KVAT about buying them out. My guess is, there probably were some talks, but Publix probably was only interested in the Knoxville area stores, whereas if Mr. Smith were going to sell, logically he'd want to sell the whole thing, not just his Knoxville stores. I don't think they had any interest in VA or KY, thus the talk probably would have broke down. So, in my opinion, the rumor is either totally false, or the most likely truth in it, would be what I just outlined. Either way, it's a good bet its not going to happen. If there was a buyout in the works, Publix wouldn't have flat out told me no, they would have sidestepped the issue. Besides, even if there was a buyout, most store level employees would probably be retained in some fashion. It would be managers and district supervisors that would probably have more to worry about.
timmy

Knoxville, TN

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#7
Jun 26, 2009
 
i hear the announcement should come sometime in the fall that food city has sold to publix

Since: Mar 09

Knoxville, TN

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#8
Jun 26, 2009
 
I say it is true or the Food City executives would be publicly denying it to the media, community & their employees, that is not happening... Makes you think...

Since: Mar 09

Knoxville, TN

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#9
Jun 26, 2009
 
They're not going to tell you via emails sent to their website.. They gave you a standard response...
Captain America wrote:
The following is an email response I received from Publix after inquiring about this rumor:
"We appreciate your interest in Publix Super Markets, Inc.
At this time we do not have a site approved or planned for Knoxville, TN. And unfortunately due to proprietary information I cannot share with you the possibility of a store opening there.
However, I can tell you that we are always working hard to reach out to new customers and provide better service to our regular customers. Our Real Estate Department does this in many ways and site selection is one of them. We are always scouting out new sites for development and new store locations Knoxville is a great market that we review and monitor on a regular basis. The rumors you have heard regarding a buyout of Food City is false, but we are always looking for new markets to enter.
We do hope that we can bring a more convenient shopping experience to you and your neighborhood in the future.
Thanks again for your inquiry and if you have future questions please contact me."

Since: Mar 09

Knoxville, TN

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#10
Jun 26, 2009
 

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The August races at BMS would be a great time to announce..hhhmmm... What a thought...
timmy wrote:
i hear the announcement should come sometime in the fall that food city has sold to publix
Farmer Brown

Redmond, WA

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#11
Jun 26, 2009
 
I have heard this rumor for several weeks now. I have also heard that it came from a vendor. I emailed Publix yesterday asking about it. So far they have not responded to me. That kind of makes me wonder. Has anyone tried to email Food City for a response?
I agree, it looks like Steve Smith would issue some kind of letter, email, whatever down to the stores atleast to calm all this down. That's what makes it seem like it's true.
Captain America

Mckenzie, TN

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#12
Jun 27, 2009
 

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I doubt Publix would flat out deny it if it was true. They would probably have dodged the question or said no comment instead of lying. My feeling is that there were probably some talks, but they didn't go that far because of Publix lack of interest in all the areas KVAT operates in. But I could be wrong. So we'll just wait and see.

Since: Mar 09

Knoxville, TN

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#13
Jun 27, 2009
 
I disagree... No company ever tips their hand until it's time for it to happen.. Too many legal and confidentialities in deals such as this for either company to speak about it... For sure they would deny it...
Many within the grocery area consider all of Food City areas to be prime as they consider Food City to have it's on "franchsied area" where they firmly compete with Wal-Mart, etc while maintainng strong market shares...
The Knoxville & Tri-Cities areas are prime time opportunities for anyone such as Publix..
Your pipedreaming if you don't think Publix, Houchen's Industries, etc would love to have all of K-VA-T's stores and areas...
Too remember their distribution center.. Someone like publix would have all they need to grown into Tennessee, Virginia, Western North Carolina, etc by having the Food City Distribution Center...
Sounds like your trying to convience yourself it's not going to happen....
You should still ask yourself the question as to why Steve Smith has not issued any statements denying this, especially with it being in the publics (his customers) eyes and ears.. The past would lead us to believe his normal recation would be to do that, but that is not the case this time.... hhmmmm..
Captain America wrote:
I doubt Publix would flat out deny it if it was true. They would probably have dodged the question or said no comment instead of lying. My feeling is that there were probably some talks, but they didn't go that far because of Publix lack of interest in all the areas KVAT operates in. But I could be wrong. So we'll just wait and see.
WorkingMan

Redmond, WA

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#14
Jun 27, 2009
 
I have to ask the question,
why has Smith NOT said anything? That tells me either it's true or he doesn't realize how this thing has spread like wildfire. Perhaps he thinks it will just die down on it's own (if it's not true).

Has anyone called or e-mailed Food City?? I would sure like to know what their response is to all of this.

I have read alot about Publix
acquisition of 49 Albertson's last year and it doesn't sound too great for Food City employees if it's true. It seems Publix is real choosy about who they hire. They held job fairs to rehire the Albertson's workers. They left them dangling until the end as to whether or not they would be rehired by Publix.
It also seems that Albertson's severence package sucked. They also closed some of those stores until they were remodeled.

I have alot of friends who work for FC and I hope for their sakes that it isn't true, but that nagging question remains...why doesn't KVAT make a statement??
Captain America

Mckenzie, TN

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#15
Jun 28, 2009
 

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On the contrary, I do understand that if they wanted to expand to this area, acquiring KVAT would be the best way to do it. I'm just still not convinced its true. Sure, it could be. Like I say, I'll believe it when I hear more than baseless rumors. If Steve Smith responded to every rumor going around the company, he wouldn't have time to do much else. I am still checking for info with management sources, so if I hear anything else, I'll post it.
FC worker

Clarksville, TN

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#16
Jun 29, 2009
 
I'd look for a press release around the Food City 500.
Captain America

Mckenzie, TN

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#17
Jun 29, 2009
 
The rumor about a press release by the time of the Food City 250 or Food City 500 has been going around for some while now too.
Tn Express

United States

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#18
Jun 29, 2009
 
I'm a vendor in both Knoxville and Nashville area I have put the question to several "Mgt" people in both areas, all I can say is that their silence speaks volumes.
Also the South Point drivers have said; that they should be ready to deliver into Virginia and get their permits inline. Who has a nice DC in Virginia? I hope Publix does come into Knoxville, because Kroger in Knoxville will get a big slap in the face just like the Nashville Kroger. Publix treats customers like royaltiy, and the employees are always there to help.
Kroger look out Publix is coming up I-75.
Captain America

Mckenzie, TN

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#19
Jun 30, 2009
 

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I certainly wish if its true they would just go ahead and announce something. Not all of us are too interested in working for Publix. I will say though, I don't think store mgrs or even district mgrs would know if its true or not. I would say the vp's in Abingdon and the one in Knoxville would be the ones who would. Every mgmt source I know in Knoxville, and The tri-cities area say its some bs a vendor has started. And a couple of those guys I have talked to, I trust pretty well. Thats not to say they haven't been mislead by their bosses though. I would imagine if its true, there would be some announcement to the employees before the official one. I don't think it would be a good thing for his thousands of employees to find out 5 minutes before the start of a NASCAR race.
Employee

Redmond, WA

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#20
Jun 30, 2009
 
I also am a FC employee. I feel kind of weird about posting here.
I've heard these rumors really strongly for about 3 weeks now.
I have asked everyone I can about it
including supervisors. They all say the same thing...they think it's a rumor started by a vendor. But, they also say they aren't sure it ISN'T true. I know when FC bought the Bi-Lo stores it was like this. We heard the rumors for a long time and then it reached a fever pitch like now. And then it was announced.
One of the best ways of finding out for sure it to ask your FC drivers. They have their ears to the ground and they are the first to know about changes in the warehouse, the way things are being ordered, stocked, etc.
They are also given the heads up about route changes, etc.
I'm going crazy trying to find out, too, just like my co-workers, but I don't know how to find out anything concrete.
Has anyone tried to contact Food City's corporate office by phone? email? I'll admit I don't have the guts to do it, but I just wonder what they would say? A flat out denial? No comment? Why would Publix
flat out say that rumors of a buy out are false? Why not just skirt that particular question?

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