GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- D&W Food Centers here has abandoned its two-year pursuit of a strategic partner, Doug Blease, president, said.
erger partner to reduce its cost of goods but was unable to reach agreements that would satisfy the needs of its management, employees and customers.
"We were evaluating strategic partnership opportunities and were in discussions with any major who was out buying companies," Blease said. "We now believe there will continue to be room for well-run independent grocers in this business, and one of them will be D&W."
Chain officials acknowledged they have had discussions with D&W supplier Spartan Stores and other companies about a merger but have ended those talks and are no longer in negotiations to sell.
"There is absolutely no merger activity in place with anyone, nor are there any negotiations about to be undertaken," Blease said. "D&W is not for sale."
D&W operates 28 stores here with a sales volume estimated at $465 million. Spartan operates 40 corporate stores in western Michigan as part of its Family Fare subsidiary.
Noting that D&W views Spartan's corporate stores as direct competition, Blease said, "We are still [Spartan's] largest customer, but the cost of goods will be a factor in who we do business with, and we are evaluating that.