CINCINNATI -- Kroger here said last week it has opened its first stores outside southern California to operate under the Food 4 Less banner.
Kroger said five Las Vegas-area PriceRite supermarkets have been converted to the Food 4 Less warehouse format and were reopened last week.
La Habra, Calif.-based Food 4 Less Warehouse Stores said a total of $5 million was spent in renovating the stores.
Food 4 Less first acquired the PriceRite stores in 1996 from Smith's Food & Drug, Salt Lake City, currently a Kroger division, prior to either chain being acquired by Kroger. Kroger took control of Food 4 Less in 1999 through its acquisition of Fred Meyer Inc., Portland, Ore.
The conversion of the PriceRite stores to the Food 4 Less format follows the announcement earlier this year by Joseph Pichler, Kroger president and chief executive officer, that the company was considering moving either the Food 4 Less format or the multi-department Fred Meyer format eastward.
David Hirz, Food 4 Less president, said the chain is looking to expand in Las Vegas, noting that the company plans to open a sixth location in the area within the year.
"We also are looking at several sites in and around Las Vegas, and we hope to open more new stores in the next couple of years," he added.