SAN DIEGO -- Big Bear Markets here has sold its six-store Cook's Markets division to Gary Cook for an undisclosed amount.
k had no previous connection with the stores; the fact that his last name is the same as the stores' is coincidental, the observers said.
Following the sale, Big Bear Markets will have sold in the past year all but one of the 24 stores it once operated.
Fleming Cos., Oklahoma City, agreed to help finance the sale of most of the stores to independent operators to secure their wholesale volume for Fleming and to develop an IGA program here. Financial terms of the transactions were not disclosed.
Four of the stores were sold to Albertson's, Boise, Idaho; one to a local independent, and another 18, including the six Cook's units, to a variety of independent operators supplied by Fleming's Phoenix division.
All 24 stores had originally been supplied by Certified Grocers of California, Los Angeles.
The six Cook's stores have joined six former Big Bear Markets and seven other stores not formerly associated with Big Bear under the IGA banner in the San Diego-Imperial Valley area.
IGA, Chicago, is the world's largest voluntary alliance of supermarkets.
Larry Mabee, president of Big Bear, said the company opted to sell its stores a year ago following an attractive buyout offer. The chain has one remaining store -- operating under the name Jonathan's in La Jolla -- that is still up for sale.