MINNEAPOLIS -- Supervalu here said last week it has reached an agreement in principle to purchase the assets of seven Shop 'n Save markets in the Pittsburgh area.
corporate retail locations.
The Pittsburgh-area stores, which are owned by private retailer Vic Wukits, range in size from 35,000 square feet to nearly 63,000 square feet, with an average size of 49,000 square feet. They are located in Beaver Valley, Chippewa, Cranberry Mall, East Rochester, Glenshaw, Lawrenceville and Gibsonia.
Supervalu said all of the approximately 900 employees at the seven stores will be retained; it also said it expects no major operational changes at the stores. Once the sale is completed, the stores will be overseen by Jim Sorbara, general manager of Supervalu's corporate Shop 'n Save group.
Wukits said he is selling seven of his nine stores but will retain two, in addition to "exploring additional new business endeavors."
Shop 'n Save is one of three corporate advertising banners Supervalu has in the Northeast. The others are Foodland and County Markets. The company also uses the Shop 'n Save banner in the St. Louis area.
Of the 88 Shop 'n Save stores in the Northeast, most are in western Pennsylvania, with a handful in West Virginia and Ohio, the company said; prior to the Wukits transaction, Supervalu owned 11, including six Allegheny Markets, McKees Rock, Pa., (doing business as Shop 'n Save) in the Pittsburgh area that were acquired from Sorbara last summer and five former Super G stores in north Philadelphia that were acquired from Ahold USA, Atlanta, also last summer, and subsequently converted to the Shop 'n Save banner.
The Wukits transaction is the latest in a series of retail acquisitions Supervalu has made in the past year, including 29 Randalls Stores in Mitchell, S.D.; four Holiday Markets here and three Jewel-Osco stores in Milwaukee, all of which were converted to the Cub banner; plus the five Super G stores in northern Philadelphia and the six stores from Allegheny Markets Co.
During that time Supervalu also completed a merger with Tidyman's, Spokane, Wash., which combined several Supervalu-owned units with Tidyman's 12-store operation.
The aggressive acquisition-and-merger strategy followed the mid-1997 sale of Supervalu's 46% stake in ShopKo Stores, Green Bay, Wis., which netted $150 million that the company said it was earmarking for acquisitions.