CANADA CLEARS CLUB: Price/Costco, the Seattle-based warehouse club operator, has been cleared by the Ontario Municipal Board to open a warehouse in Brampton, Ontario, 15 miles from Toronto, over the objections of Loblaw Cos., a Canadian grocery chain. In addition, Loblaw was ordered to pay Price/Costco about $185,000 in costs. In 1991, Loblaw filed an objection to the warehouse proposed by Costco prior to its merger last year with Price, claiming it would hurt the supermarket business. The OMB determined that evidence presented by Loblaw “fell far short” of supporting that claim. Costco already has warehouses in Canadian cities, including Calgary, Vancouver, Saskatoon and Winnipeg.
SHOPKO TAPS EXECS: Mark R. Kennedy has been promoted to senior executive vice president at ShopKo Stores, Green Bay, Wisc. He will be responsible for store operations, merchandising, advertising and the Vision 2000 strategy. It is a new post. Kennedy joined the company in 1992 as senior vice president and chief financial officer and was named executive vice president last January. His former financial duties are now handled by Jeffrey Jones, who joined ShopKo in November.
C. Scott Copeland and Gary Hammond have been named vice presidents of operations, reporting to Kennedy. Each has been with the company since 1970.
A GROWING FAMILY: Family Dollar Stores Inc. reported that earnings before a one-time accounting credit rose 8.4 percent in the first quarter ended Nov. 30.
The discounter, based in Matthews, N.C., said earnings before the charge were $14.9 million, or 27 cents a share, up from $13.8 million, or 25 cents, a year earlier. A credit of $1.1 million from the tax accounting change boosted net earnings in the latest quarter to $16.1 million, or 29 cents.
Leon Levine, chairman, said the earnings gain resulted from tightly controlling operating expenses and attributed most of the sales gain to 46 new stores opened in the quarter. Sales at existing stores inched ahead 0.7 percent.