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DETROIT -- Kroger will close six Farmer Jack grocery stores here it purchased last week from A&P and reopen them under its eponymous banner on July 6.
According to local press reports, the stores set to close are in Northville Township, Brownstown Township, Troy, Grosse Pointe Woods, Dearborn and Hartland.
Kroger will stagger the reopening of 20 other newly acquired Farmer Jack stores that will reopen later in July in Birmingham, Dearborn Heights, Dearborn, St. Clair Shores, Hazel Park, Troy, Sterling Heights, Algonac, Roseville, Westland, Romeo and Imlay City. A store in Bloomfield Township will undergo extensive renovations and will open at an unspecified date after the first 19 stores.
An estimated 2,000 to 2,300 employees will move into 19 stores with staggered start dates, a Kroger spokesman was quoted as saying. Kroger began hiring employees for 3,000 positions in Michigan last week.
Meanwhile, Farmer Jack is expected to lay off about half of its warehouse employees this Friday, with final layoffs on July 6, a warehouse employee was quoted as saying.
In related news, Fenton, Mich.-based VG's Food Center & Pharmacy will begin accepting applications Thursday for some 140 jobs at its new store that will replace one of two soon-to-close Farmer Jacks.
The news follows on VG's announcement earlier this week that the local independent has signed a purchase agreement for both Farmer Jack stores at 1380 N. Leroy St. and 15100 Silver Lake Parkway in Fenton and a third store in Shelby Township.
VG's plans to convert the N. Leroy Street store into a VG's, but the Silver Lake Parkway store will not be reopened as a grocery store, Lisa Van Gilder, VG's president and c.e.o. was quoted as saying in local reports.