Update: August 6th 11:30am: It’s NOT Wegmans. The Rochester based grocery chain says it is NOT buying Ukrops. I recieved several emails yesterday suggesting Wegmans was the buyer. Wegmans’ spokesperson Jo Natale says “it is not true. It’s a false rumor.” Wegmans has 73 stores including in five states including one store in Fredericksburg, VA.
Shout out to my twitter folks today who came up with #Ukropalyse. Here’s the latest on the Ukrop’s sale speculation. Since no one is “officially” talking, it’s time to read between the lines…. I trust all my faithful readers out there!
Harrist Teeter’s parent company, The Ruddick Corporation, released its quarterly report this week. The company says its planned distribution center in King George County will likely be delayed. (That’s huge news for the rumor mill because the center fueled A LOT of the speculation that Harris Teeter was the front runner to buy Ukrop’s. This would be Harris Teeter’s first distribution center IN Virginia… giving rise to the company growing in the Commonwealth) The company also said it was exploring other options.
The quarterly report also mentions Harris Teeter’s expansion plans include Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia and Southern Maryland. (No mention of central Virginia or Richmond.) A local expert says this could be mean several things….
1. Harris Teeter doesn’t have to disclose expansion plans in a quarterly report and may be keeping its cards close to the vest.
2. It no longer has an interest in Ukrop’s.
3. There are other suitors for Ukrop’s out there that we don’t know about.
I caught up with the Ukrop family today at an event in Chesterfield County. CEO Bobby Ukrop declined to comment. His son, Rob said candidly “he’s the wrong guy to ask, but that these (rumors) come up every year.” When I pushed about family’s plans if there was a sale he said simply, “We love Richmond. We’ve always been here and we’ll always be here.”
And there’s your latest rumor-mill roundup!