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REGIONALREPORT Charlotte

Store wars

Harris Teeter Supermarkets Inc., born in Charlotte and now based in the Queen City suburb of Matthews, has long dominated the upper end of the grocery market in and around its hometown, but a new rival from the Sunshine State is threatening its turf. Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix Super Markets Inc. opened two stores just across the state line in Fort Mill and Indian Land, S.C., in October and plans to open one in south Charlotte — its first in North Carolina — by early 2014. Harris Teeter, which did not respond to an email seeking comment, recently has been paying more attention to its hometown, renovating several stores in the region and, this summer, buying 10 from Winston-Salem-based Lowe’s Foods Stores Inc. (Regional Report, July). Andrew Wolf, an analyst with BB&T Capital Markets, told Supermarket News the acquisition not only bolstered market share in the region but blocked Publix from entering Charlotte “via a strategic deal, at least in the near term.” Publix operates in fewer states than Harris Teeter but has fivefold its stores and nearly seven times its sales.

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Briefs

CHARLOTTEMedCath filed a certificate with the Delaware secretary of state to dissolve after it sold its remaining assets. The hospital operator received permission last year from shareholders to wind down business and will distribute $6.33 per share to its remaining investors.

MOORESVILLE Lowe’s withdrew its $1.8 billion bid to purchase Rona, Canada’s largest home-improvement retailer, after the company rejected the offer. Canadian politicians also expressed disapproval.

CONOVER — Catawba County and Hickory, Catawba, Conover and Maiden will develop 70 acres into a business park to attract data centers. The municipal governments will split $2.6 million in infrastructure expenses.

CHARLOTTE — Internet photography site and greeting-card printer Shutterfly will move a 300,000-square-foot production plant and customer-service center from here to nearby Fort Mill, S.C. The Redwood, Calif.-based company plans to add more than 400 jobs to the 250 it has in Charlotte.

CHARLOTTE Chiquita Brands International named Edward Lonergan CEO. Lonergan, 52, was chief executive of Amsterdam-based Diversey, which provides cleaning supplies and strategies for hotels, hospitals and other companies. He replaces Fernando Aguirre, who will stay on as a consultant for a year. Lonergan will receive a base salary of $900,000, a target annual bonus of the same amount, plus stock and option grants.

CHARLOTTE Bank of America agreed to a $2.4 billion settlement in a class-action lawsuit brought in 2009 by investors who claimed the Charlotte-based company did not properly disclose losses it expected to incur when it purchased New York-based investment bank Merrill Lynch in 2008.

CHARLOTTE Belk is teaming with the Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton for a men’s fashion line, MADE Cam Newton. The partnership is part of the department-store chain’s effort to offer brands that its competitors can’t. The line will be available in stores and on its website by spring 2013.