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STOP SHIP AT KMART: Fleming Cos. Inc. on Wednesday said it will stop shipping groceries to Kmart Corp. after March 7. The food distributor said it has no obligations after that date because of a Chicago bankruptcy court’s approval on Feb. 3 to end the distribution agreement. Kmart said it will instead self-distribute groceries for the Pantry section at its stores and the remaining 57 Super Ks once the previously announced 60 Super Ks have been shuttered. The bankrupt retailer, which expects to exit Chapter 11 proceedings at the end of April, said it will save $100 million in the process of self-distribution.

This story first appeared in the February 13, 2003 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

BURLINGTON’S COURT DATE: Burlington Industries has filed papers in a Delaware bankruptcy court seeking a court-sponsored auction on April 21 to see if there will be higher offers surpassing the $579 million deal it inked with Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. According to documents, interested bidders would have until March 17 to sign confidentiality agreements and until April 14 to submit their bids. Assuming the proposed auction procedures are approved at a Feb. 27 hearing, bidders would have to top Berkshire’s offer by $19 million. One exception is WL Ross. As reported, Berkshire beat out a competing offer from Ross, and the Burlington/Berkshire agreement allows the textiles firm to continue to pursue a proposal from the private equity firm. Ross’ fund manager, Wilbur L. Ross, on Wednesday sent a letter to Burlington asking that it reconsider its decision. He said that a majority of the unsecured creditors in the case have rejected Berkshire’s offer.