ELIZABETH, N.J. -- Wakefern Food Corp. here is selling two corporate ShopRite stores in Connecticut to local supermarket operators.
ShopRite Supermarkets Inc., a wholly owned Wakefern subsidiary based in Edison, N.J., plans to sell its ShopRite in Waterbury to Grade A Markets, Stamford, Conn., and its store in Brookfield to Torna Inc., Glastonbury, Conn., according to Wakefern spokeswoman Laura McCafferty. The stores will keep the ShopRite banner and be supplied by Wakefern, she said.
The deals are expected to close in several months, McCafferty said. Terms of the sales were not disclosed. McCafferty told SN last week she's not aware of any plans by Wakefern to sell off more of its Connecticut stores. Of the 14 ShopRite stores in Connecticut, Wakefern will operate seven once the sales to Grade A and Torna are completed.
The cooperative wholesaler, which supplies 187 stores in the Mid-Atlantic region, decided to sell the Waterbury and Brookfield units because the local operators are more familiar with the communities and can better target consumer needs, McCafferty explained.
"One of the things the corporation has done in the last two years is that we have added 10 new members to Wakefern. They are one- or two-store operators who can really do a hands-on management of the stores," she said.
"They are very knowledgeable about the community they are serving. They can tailor their product mix and services to the community."
McCafferty said consumers will see little change once Grade A and Torna step in. "To shoppers, this will probably be transparent," she said. "A ShopRite is a ShopRite."