COPPELL, Texas -- Minyard Food Stores here said it has made a deal with Kroger Co., Cincinnati, to buy four, and possibly five, Kroger stores in the Dallas area while selling two Minyard units in the Fort Worth area to Kroger. J.L. (Sonny) Williams, president of Minyard, declined to indicate the selling price to SN, and officials in Kroger's Dallas division could not be reached. Williams said the two chains opted to sell stores to each other "because Kroger wanted additional stores in the Fort Worth area and we wanted to increase our penetration in the Dallas area." After it sells the two stores to Kroger, and after it replaces two existing Minyard stores with the former Kroger locations and adds two or three additional locations, "we anticipate a net gain in volume," Williams said, although he declined to be more specific. The availability of one of the Krogers that Minyard hopes to acquire is in the hands of its landlord, who is looking for a way to get a higher rent, Williams said. "He put the sale on hold when he decided to exercise his 45-day option on whether he'd prefer a nonfood operator to take over the location or to break it up into smaller units," he explained. Williams said the landlord has until Dec. 4 to make a decision, "and we think we have a 50-50 chance that it will come out in our favor." Of the four Kroger stores Minyard is buying:
-- a store Minyard bought from Tom Thumb a year and a half ago -- and a 46,000-square-foot Sack & Save in Forest Hills, a Fort Worth suburb.
According to Williams, Kroger will close a store in Fort Worth that's approximately 40,000 square feet when it reopens the newer 56,000-square-foot former Minyard store under its own banner.