Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)


9 Months Ended
Nov. 02, 2013
Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]  

A collective action was filed against the Company in federal court in Alabama claiming that store managers should have been classified as non-exempt employees under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The Court granted the Company's motion to decertify in 2012. The individual claims of the four named plaintiffs proceeded to trial and on March 1, 2013, the jury returned verdicts in all four cases in favor of the Company. Sixty-one other plaintiffs filed individual suits in various federal courts throughout the country. All of these cases have now been resolved for immaterial amounts.

In April 2011, a putative class action was filed in federal court in California alleging, among other things, a failure by the Company to provide uninterrupted meal periods, to compensate for all hours worked, and to pay overtime compensation for assistant store managers. Discovery is ongoing. No trial date has been set.

Winn-Dixie Stores instituted suit in federal court in Florida alleging that the Company sold products in 48 stores in violation of a lease exclusive. In August 2012, the Court denied Winn-Dixie's claim for damages and granted Winn Dixie’s request for injunctive relief with respect to just one store. Winn-Dixie appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit and oral argument is scheduled for January 2014.

A supermarket filed a lease exclusive case and a companion unfair competition case against the Company in a Pennsylvania state court. Discovery has closed in the first of these actions, and trial will occur in 2014. The related unfair competition case is in its early stages and no discovery has commenced.

A supermarket filed a lease exclusive case against the Company in Pennsylvania state court. After a trial on liability issues only, a jury determined that the Company violated the supermarket's lease exclusive. The Company plans to appeal and strongly disagrees with this verdict. A trial on damages will be held in 2014. Plaintiff's experts assert that plaintiff's damages are approximately $6.2 million. Defendant's experts contend there were no damages suffered as a result of the Company’s alleged conduct and that any damages sought cannot be reasonably proved.

In 2011, a collective action was filed against the Company by an assistant store manager and an hourly associate, alleging they were forced to work off the clock in violation of the FLSA and state law. A federal judge in Virginia ruled that all claims made on behalf of assistant store managers under both the FLSA and state law should be dismissed. The court, however, conditionally certified an opt-in collective action under the FLSA on behalf of all hourly sales associates who worked for the Company from October 2, 2009 to the present. Approximately 6,280 plaintiffs opted into the case. The Company's motion to decertify the collective action is expected to be decided by the court in late 2013 or 2014.

Four other FLSA putative collective action lawsuits were filed against the Company in federal courts in Georgia, Colorado, Florida and Michigan alleging essentially the same claims on behalf of assistant store managers. A collective action was conditionally certified in one case in federal court in Colorado, and about 2,000 plaintiffs opted in, but the Court decertified the case in August 2013. These cases have been resolved, pending court approval, for immaterial amounts. A similar case in Maryland has been dismissed. Several similar individual claims have also been resolved, pending court approval, for immaterial amounts.

In 2012, a former assistant store manager, on behalf of himself and those alleged to be similarly situated, filed a putative class action in a California state court, alleging the Company failed to provide rest breaks to assistant store managers. The alleged time period is July 13, 2008 to the present. Discovery is ongoing. No trial date has been set.

In 2012, two former store managers, under California's Labor Code and Private Attorney General Act (PAGA), instituted suit now pending in the federal court in California on behalf of themselves and others alleged to be similarly aggrieved in the state of California, alleging they were misclassified by the Company as exempt employees. The Company settled with one plaintiff for an immaterial amount. The remaining individual case was tried in November 2013, with a decision expected before 2014.
In 2013, a former assistant store manager on behalf of himself and others alleged to be similarly aggrieved filed a representative PAGA claim under California law currently pending in federal court in California. The suit alleges that the Company failed to provide uninterrupted meal periods and rest breaks; failed to pay minimum, regular and overtime wages; failed to maintain accurate time records and wage statements; and failed to pay wages due upon termination of employment. Discovery has not commenced and no trial date has been set.

In September 2013, district attorneys in California initiated an investigation of whether the Company properly disposed of certain damaged retail products under Federal and California state environmental law, primarily the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. This matter is in early stages of investigation.

The Company will vigorously defend itself in these matters. The Company does not believe that any of these matters will, individually or in the aggregate, have a material effect on its business or financial condition. The Company cannot give assurance, however, that one or more of these lawsuits will not have a material effect on its results of operations for the period in which they are resolved. Based on the information available to the Company, including the amount of time remaining before trial, the results of discovery and the judgment of internal and external counsel, the Company is unable to express an opinion as to the outcome of those matters which are not settled and cannot estimate a potential range of loss except as specified above. When a range is expressed above, the Company is currently unable to determine the probability of loss within that range.