SUPERVALU INC. (“SUPERVALU” or the “Company”), a Delaware corporation, was organized in 1925 as the successor to two wholesale grocery firms established in the 1870’s. The Company’s principal executive offices are located at 11840 Valley View Road, Eden Prairie, Minnesota 55344 (Telephone: 952-828-4000). All references to the “Company” or “SUPERVALU” relate to SUPERVALU INC. and its majority-owned subsidiaries.
SUPERVALU is one of the largest companies in the United States grocery channel. SUPERVALU conducts its retail operations under the following banners: Acme Markets, Albertsons, Bristol Farms, bigg’s, Cub Foods, Farm Fresh, Hornbacher’s, Jewel-Osco, Lucky, Save-A-Lot, Shaw’s Supermarkets, Shop ’n Save, Shoppers Food & Pharmacy and Star Markets. Additionally, the Company provides supply chain services, primarily wholesale distribution, across the United States retail grocery channel.
On June 2, 2006, the Company acquired New Albertson’s, Inc. (“New Albertsons”) consisting of the core supermarket businesses (the “Acquired Operations”) formerly owned by Albertson’s, Inc. (“Albertsons”) operating approximately 1,125 stores under the banners of Acme Markets, Bristol Farms, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s Supermarkets, Star Markets, the Albertsons banner in the Intermountain, Northwest and Southern California regions, the related in-store pharmacies under the Osco and Sav-on banners, 10 distribution centers and certain regional and corporate offices (the “Acquisition”). As part of the Acquisition, the Company acquired the Albertsons, Acme Markets, Bristol Farms, Jewel, Osco, Sav-on and Shaw’s Supermarkets trademarks and tradenames (the “Acquired Trademarks”). The Acquisition greatly increased the size of the Company. Results of operations for fiscal 2007 include 38 weeks of operating results of the Acquired Operations.
SUPERVALU is focused on long-term retail growth through targeted new store development, remodel activities, licensee growth and acquisitions. During fiscal 2009, the Company added 44 new stores through new store development and closed 97 stores. The Company leverages its distribution operations by providing wholesale distribution and logistics and service solutions to its independent retail customers through its Supply chain services segment.
Financial Information About Reportable Segments
The Company’s business is classified by management into two reportable segments: Retail food and Supply chain services. These reportable segments are two distinct businesses, one retail and one wholesale, each with a different customer base, marketing strategy and management structure. The Retail food reportable segment is an aggregation of the Company’s retail operating segments, which are primarily organized based on geography. The Retail food reportable segment derives revenues from the sale of groceries at retail locations operated by the Company (both the Company’s own stores and stores licensed by the Company). The Supply chain services reportable segment derives revenues from wholesale distribution to independently-owned retail food stores, mass merchants and other customers (collectively referred to as “independent retail customers”) and logistics support services.
As of February 28, 2009, the Company conducted its Retail food operations through a total of 2,421 retail stores, including 862 licensed Save-A-Lot stores. The Company conducts its retail operations throughout the United States under three retail food store formats: combination stores (defined as food and pharmacy), food stores and limited assortment food stores. The Company’s Retail food operations are supplied by 23 dedicated distribution centers and nine distribution centers that are part of the Supply chain services segment providing wholesale distribution to both the Company’s own stores and stores of independent retail customers.
Combination stores provide an extensive grocery offering, pharmacy department and expanded sections of general merchandise and health and beauty care. As of February 28, 2009, the Company operated 874 combination stores under the Acme Markets, Albertsons, bigg’s, Cub Foods, Farm Fresh, Jewel-Osco, Sav-on, Shaw’s Supermarkets, Shop ’n Save, Shoppers Food & Pharmacy and Star Markets banners. Typical combination stores carry about 50,000 items and average approximately 60,000 square feet.
Food stores focus their product offerings primarily on grocery departments and generally include many of the same product offerings as combination stores, but on a more limited basis and without a pharmacy. As of February 28, 2009, the Company operated 369 food stores under the Acme Markets, Albertsons, Bristol Farms, Cub Foods, Farm Fresh, Hornbacher’s, Jewel, Lucky, Shaw’s Supermarkets, Shop ’n Save, Shoppers Food & Pharmacy and Star Markets banners. Typical food stores carry about 40,000 items and average approximately 40,000 square feet.
The Company owns 316 limited assortment food stores operating under the Save-A-Lot banner. The Company licenses 862 Save-A-Lot stores to independent operators. Save-A-Lot holds the number one market position, based on revenues, in the extreme value grocery-retailing sector. Save-A-Lot food stores typically are approximately 15,000 square feet in size, and stock approximately 1,400 primarily custom-branded high-volume food items generally in a single size for each product sold.
Supply Chain Services
The Company’s Supply chain services business primarily provides wholesale distribution of products to independent retailers and is the largest public company food wholesaler in the nation. As of February 28, 2009, the Company was affiliated with approximately 2,000 stores of independent retail customers as their primary grocery supplier, in addition to the Company’s own stores, and approximately 700 additional stores of independent retail customers as a secondary grocery supplier. The Company’s wholesale distribution customers are located in 49 states and include single and multiple grocery store independent operators, regional and national chains, mass merchants and the military.
The Company has established a network of strategically located distribution centers utilizing a multi-tiered logistics system. The network includes facilities that carry slow turn or fast turn groceries, perishables, general merchandise and health and beauty care products. The network is comprised of 22 distribution facilities, nine of which supply the Company’s own stores in addition to stores of independent retail customers. Deliveries to retail stores are made from the Company’s distribution centers by Company-owned trucks, third-party independent trucking companies or customer-owned trucks. In addition, the Company provides certain facilitative services between its independent retailers and vendors related to products that are delivered directly by suppliers to retail stores under programs established by the Company. These services include sourcing, invoicing and payment services.
The Company also offers third-party logistics solutions through its subsidiary, Total Logistics, Inc. and its Advantage Logistics operations. These operations provide customers with a suite of logistics services, including warehouse management, transportation, procurement, contract manufacturing and logistics engineering and management services.
Our Own Brands, the Company’s private label program, are products produced to the Company’s specification by many suppliers and compete in many areas of the Company’s stores. Own Brands include: the premium brand Culinary Circletm, which offers unique, premium quality products in highly competitive categories; first tier brands, including Wild Harvesttm, Flavoritetm, Richfoodtm, equalinetm, HomeLifetm and several others, which provide shoppers quality national brand equivalent products at a competitive price; and the value brand, Shopper’s Valuetm, which offers budget conscious consumers a quality alternative to national brands at substantial savings.
The Company offers a wide variety of nationally advertised brand name and private brand name products, primarily including grocery (both perishable and nonperishable), general merchandise and health and beauty care, pharmacy and fuel, which are sold through the Company’s own and licensed retail food stores to shoppers and through its Supply chain services business to independent retail customers. The Company believes that it has adequate and alternative sources of supply for most of its purchased products. The Company’s Net sales include the product sales of the Company’s own stores, product sales to stores licensed by the Company and product sales of the Company’s Supply chain services business to independent retail customers.
The Company registers a substantial number of its trademarks/service marks in the United States Patent and Trademark Office, including many of its private-label product trademarks and service marks. U.S. trademark and service mark registrations are generally for a term of 10 years, renewable every 10 years as long as the trademark is used in the regular course of trade. The Company considers certain of its trademarks and service marks to be of material importance to its Retail food and Supply chain services businesses and actively defends and enforces such trademarks and service marks.
As of February 28, 2009, working capital consisted of $4,363 in current assets, calculated after adding back the LIFO reserve of $258, and $4,472 in current liabilities. Normal operating fluctuations in these balances can result in changes to cash flow from operations presented in the Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows that are not necessarily indicative of long-term operating trends. There are no unusual industry practices or requirements relating to working capital items.
The Company’s Retail food and Supply chain services businesses are highly competitive. The Company believes that the success of its Retail food and Supply chain services businesses are dependent upon the ability of its own stores, as well as the stores of independent retail customers it supplies, to compete successfully with other retail food stores. Principal competition comes from regional and national chains operating under a variety of formats that devote square footage to selling groceries (i.e., combination food and pharmacy stores, food stores, limited assortment food stores, membership warehouse clubs, dollar stores, drug stores, convenience stores, various formats selling prepared foods and other specialty and discount retailers), as well as from independent food store operators. The Company believes that the principal competitive factors faced by its own stores, as well as the stores of independent retail customers it supplies, include the location and image of the store, the price, quality and variety of products and the quality and consistency of service.
The traditional wholesale distribution component of the Company’s Supply chain services business competes directly with a number of grocery wholesalers. The Company believes it competes in this business on the basis of product price, quality and assortment, schedule and reliability of deliveries, the range and quality of services provided, service fees and the location of distribution facilities. The Company’s third-party logistics network competes nationwide in a highly fragmented marketplace, which includes a number of large international and domestic companies, as well as many smaller, more regional competitors. The Company believes that it competes in this business on the basis of warehousing and transportation logistics expertise, cost and the ability to offer both asset and non-asset based solutions as well as to design and manage a customer’s entire supply chain.
As of February 28, 2009, the Company had approximately 178,000 employees. Approximately 110,000 employees are covered by collective bargaining agreements. During fiscal 2009, 60 collective bargaining agreements covering approximately 29,000 employees were renegotiated. During fiscal 2009, 62 collective bargaining agreements covering approximately 4,500 employees expired without their terms being renegotiated. Negotiations are expected to continue with the bargaining units representing the employees subject to those agreements. During fiscal 2010, 47 collective bargaining agreements covering approximately 37,000 employees will expire. The Company is focused on ensuring competitive cost structures in each market in which it operates while meeting its employees’ needs for attractive wages and affordable healthcare and retirement benefits. The Company believes that it has generally good relations with its employees and with the labor unions that represent employees covered by collective bargaining agreements.