Grand Union Company

Grand Union Company
Item# 2636
$2.00
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This one-time New Jersey-based supermarket giant filed for bankruptcy three times in a five year period. Apparently the 3rd time was the “charm,” as the company’s assets were sold off at auction and the remaining store locations sold off, leaving many small towns without their only local supermarket.

A scathing article in the New York Times questioned whether Grand Union’s then-leader, J. Wayne Harris’ aggressive style backfired at the chain, where he had been brought in to keep the company out of bankruptcy for a third time in a decade. He was fired eight months before the New Jersey company went out of business for good in February 2000. The report quoted a former major shareholder and Grand Union lender as saying Harris brought in huge quantities of products such as Star-Kist tuna in exchange for millions of dollars in vendor promotional dollars. It's a common practice among grocers who use vendor promotional money to pay for advertising and for deals on some items that will attract customers. "It's legitimate accounting," said Josh Peters, who follows the supermarket industry for Morningstar Inc. The vendors hand you a check for the promotions. The trick is being sure you don't overbuy. Booked as revenues, the promotional money helped boost Grand Union's earnings, but over the long haul the company was stuck with more goods than it could sell at a profit, the report said. Harris defended his performance, saying that Grand Union's inventory turnover -- a measure of the company's sales productivity and profitability -- increased every month he was there. "Grand Union carried 40,000 items, so I don't think a couple of tuna items hurt us that much," he said.


Close Up of Vignette:




Certificate: Common Stock, issued in the 1970’s

Printer: American Bank Note Company

Dimensions: 8” (h) x 12” (w)

State: DE-Delaware

Subject Matter: Retail and Related | Supermarkets | Under $5 | Under $10

Vignette Topic(s): Allegorical Featured | Allegorical Liberty | Nude Subject

Condition: Vertical fold lines, punch hole cancels in signature areas and body and some edge faults and toning from age.





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