Fleming Cos. Rethinks Rebranding

NEW YORK–Due in part to adverse reaction from local consumers and community officials, Fleming Cos., one of the nation’s largest supermarket operators and wholesalers, is said to be strongly considering rebranding several of its Sentry Foods stores as Rainbow Foods rather than Fresh 4 Less, as the company had initially planned.

Ten supermarkets in the Milwaukee area that were scheduled to be converted from Sentry to a stripped down, no-frills Fresh 4 Less format instead may retain such departments as delis and bakeries and operate under the Rainbow Foods banner.

Although the company has not made an official announcement, consumers and politicians who contacted Flemings headquarters in the Dallas suburb of Lewisville said they expressed dissatisfaction with the proposed Fresh 4 Less rebranding format, which has far fewer amenities than traditional supermarkets and a warehouse-style design with cement floors and bare-bone walls and ceilings. Fleming also operates a chain of full-service Rainbow Foods supermarkets in the Minneapolis area.