LONDON, Ky. -- Laurel Grocery Co. here said last week it has agreed to become IGA's 25th distributor, with plans to convert more than 30 independent stores to the IGA banner by mid-summer.
d Georgia. The first group that will adopt the IGA name includes 19 Food World stores, six or seven Food Fairs and a variety of other banners, James Buchanan, president and chief operating officer of the $200-million-plus wholesaler, told SN.
He said another 20 or so stores from Laurel's existing customer base could eventually be converted to IGA.
Bruce Chestnut, chairman and chief executive officer of Laurel, said the IGA affiliation will help its customers compete better. "Working together, today's independent grocer can beat the chains," he said.
"IGA's assessment program ensures high quality operations; their promotions help bring in new customers and keep existing customers excited about shopping, and their technological support, coupled with Laurel's team, will help our retailers make more strategic decisions about their business.
"These benefits will unite our independent retailers and help them focus on what they do best -- serving the needs of their local communities."
Dr. Thomas S. Haggai, IGA chairman and chief executive officer, said he welcomed Laurel Grocery into the IGA fold. "Their commitment to independent grocers and communities supports IGA's philosophy that consumers want the personalized customer service independent grocers provide. IGA Hometown Proud Supermarkets are unique in that we actually provide community centers for our local customers."