ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Furr's Supermarkets here said last week it plans to open an Hispanic-format group of stores under the name La Feria.
Paso and Las Cruces, N.M. -- since 1938. Furr's acquired the 40,000-square-foot store last month and will retain the existing name "because we plan to open more of them," Buz Doyle, Furr's president, told SN.
He said Adrian Baca, former owner of La Feria, will be the general manager of the La Feria stores as they open.
"We want everyone to know that La Feria will not change in any way," Doyle said. "We admire the success of La Feria and feel that the standards and values of our two companies are very compatible."
According to Baca, La Feria is "festive, warm and clean, which is what our customers value, along with our unique [Hispanic] products."
Speaking of Baca, who is the five-term mayor of Anthony, Doyle said, "Adrian Baca is a role model for business owners everywhere. He operates a successful grocery store and always responds to his customers' wants and needs.
"At the same time he devotes countless hours to helping others through dozens of community organizations."
He declined to say when the company will open its next La Feria unit.
Doyle also said Furr's is in the process of acquiring a 49,000-square-foot Albertson's store in El Paso, which will bring its total operation to 70 units in New Mexico and Texas, including 20 in the El Paso market.
Albertson's was scheduled to close the store yesterday and to spend the following week removing its inventory and equipment.
Doyle said Furr's will take over the building next Monday, then plans to close the store for two weeks to renovate the center of the store and add more produce. It will reopen the store Feb. 8 under the Furr's banner and spend the next nine weeks renovating the perimeter departments, he added.
Boise, Idaho-based Albertson's said it decided to sell the El Paso store because it was not profitable, "despite our best efforts."