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    Spartan Acquires Five Carter's Stores; Felpausch Picks Up One

    GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - A federal bankruptcy court cleared the way for Spartan Stores Inc. here to pick up five stores from the bankrupt Carter's Inc. for $1.1 million while G&R Felpausch Co., owners of Felpausch Food Centers, also made a successful $300,000 bid for one Carter's store.

    GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - A federal bankruptcy court cleared the way for Spartan Stores Inc. here to pick up five stores from the bankrupt Carter's Inc. for $1.1 million while G&R Felpausch Co., owners of Felpausch Food Centers, also made a successful $300,000 bid for one Carter's store.

    In July, Carter's filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation, citing "serious financial difficulties" to the tune of $33 million in debt.

    Spartan last month placed its ultimately successful bid for five of the 14 Carter's stores in Lake City, Houghton Lake, Gaylord, Boyne City and Oscoda, Mich. For its part, G&R Felpausch, which last opened a store three years ago on Kalamazoo's north side, picked up the Carter's store in Kimball Township, Mich. Both Spartan and Felpausch are said to awaiting formal closure of the deals before making decisions about the newly acquired stores.

    In a local press report, bankruptcy trustee James Boyd, who was authorized by U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids to sell the properties, said: "Now we have to work out the details of the purchase agreements, and that should be done in the very near future."

    All of Carter's stores are closed and will remain so until final disposition of the properties. The other eight Carter stores were also sold to various bidders on the east side of Michigan.

    The 19-store, Hastings, Mich.-based Felpausch Food Centers is also in the process of renovating and expanding its store in Williamston, Mich., which will add another 18 jobs to the store's 80-person payroll. Construction is expected to begin later this year or early next spring.
    Spartan owns and operates 68 Family Fare Supermarkets, Glen's Markets and D&W Fresh Markets in western and northern Michigan.

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