Supervalu, Walmart Spar Over Exclusive Grocery Rights in Minnesota

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Supervalu, Walmart Spar Over Exclusive Grocery Rights in Minnesota

Supervalu, Inc. has filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. that alleges one of the world’s largest retailer’s stores in the Twin Cities sells too many groceries, according to local press reports.

Eden Prairie, Minn.-based Supervalu claims the Midway Marketplace Walmart in St. Paul is selling more groceries than allowed at the University Avenue shopping center it shares with a Cub Foods store, according to the lawsuit. That this is at least the second such fight for Walmart with a Cub Foods store this year underscores the heightened competitive stance between the two grocers.

In February, Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart and its Coon Rapids, Minn., mall landlord sued an independent Cub Foods operator over grocery rights at the Riverdale Crossing shopping center. Walmart planned to expand its store there into a Supercenter, which would put it in direct competition with the neighboring Cub location.

Asserting exclusive grocery rights under its lease, Cub franchisee Williston Corp. of Minnetonka countersued Walmart, demanding the company remove food from its store’s shelves.

Meanwhile, Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that Supervalu and other grocers had secretly hired a consulting firm to use legal and political tactics to block Walmart developments in suburban Chicago and other areas.