Rio Ranch Markets signs Fontana lease

Rio Ranch Markets, a grover specializing foods employed in the preparation of Latino cuisine,  has signed a 10-year lease at Southridge Plaza in Fontana, the brokerage invvolved in the deal announced.

Argent Retail Advisors founder Terry Bortnick represented the grocer and property owner, which is Mabela, LLC. The dollar value of the lease was not disclosed.

Southridge Plaza is in the 11600 block of Cherry Avenue, near Live Oak Avenue in Fontana. Rio Ranch is set to take up space previously occupied by a Ralph’s store.

The new Rio Rancho store is scheduled to open in the second quarter of 2012. The grocery chain is headquartered in Riverside.

Stater Bros. profits rise, reverse sales decline

Increased grocery sales led to an $8.8 million profit for Stater Bros. Holdings Inc. in the quarter ending March 27, the grocery chain said late Tuesday.
The second fiscal quarter profit was a 46.7 percent rise from the same quarter last year. Store sales grew 3.15 percent to $913.4 million, reversing the decline in sales seen in the first quarter.
High unemployment and rising food prices led
Chief Financial Officer Phillip J. Smith to predict earlier this year that the San Bernardino-based chain would see a decline in sales in fiscal year 2011.

Grocery workers considering strike

UFCW leaders are counting votes that would give grocery union leaders authorization to go on strike against Albertsons, Ralphs and Vons.

The Pasadena Star-News, the Sun and Inland Valley Daily Bulletin’s sister paper, reported that members of UFCW Local 770 “ members “overwhelmingly” approved giving their contract negotiators the option to call a strike if necessary.”

UFCW spokeswoman Ellen Anreder said the locals representing workers as far north as Mono County and as far south as the Mexican border. She emphasized that a “yes” vote would not mean the union would immediately go on strike, but union negotiators would have that option.

Anreder said she was not authorized to elaborate on the sticking point between union and grocery chain negotiators.

The two sides have been in negotiations since February. Albertsons, Ralphs and Von’s issued the following joint statement:

“Asking for strike authorization is a common tactic in negotiations and does not necessarily mean a strike will be called. Getting sidetracked by these tactics will only delay our ability to reach an agreement on a fair contract for our associates. The real work towards getting a fair contract will happen at the negotiating table and we hope that’s where the union leadership will focus its attention as we return to bargaining next week.”