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    Spartan Stores' Soared Since Start of 2006

    GRAND RAPIDS -- Spartan Stores here has seen its share price climb 41 percent since Dec. 31, and has led all West Michigan firms on major markets in terms of stock-value increases during the first half of 2006. Spartan has also led all West Michigan stocks for its performance during 2005.

    GRAND RAPIDS -- Spartan Stores here has seen its share price climb 41 percent since Dec. 31, and has led all West Michigan firms on major markets in terms of stock-value increases during the first half of 2006. Spartan has also led all West Michigan stocks for its performance during 2005.

    Local analysts applaud the retailer/wholesaler for its focused management, and attribute the stock price gains to that. The company also successfully integrated Grand Rapids-based D&W Food Centers into its portfolio this year.

    Jeanne Norcoss, Spartan's v.p. of communications, said the company's first-half performance is indicative of positive news on several fronts, including new distribution customers, a seamless integration of D&W and the company paying its first shareholder dividends.

    "We're just generally pleased with the overall performance of our company, particularly in light of the overall growth of the supercenters in the Michigan market," Norcross was quoted as saying in local reports.

    Spartan Stores, with warehouse facilities in Grand Rapids and Plymouth, Mich., distributes more than 40,000 private-label and national brand products to more than 350 independent grocery stores in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. Spartan also owns and operates 68 retail supermarkets and 19 deep-discount food and drug stores in Michigan and Ohio, including D&W Fresh Markets, Family Fare Supermarkets, Glen's Markets, and The Pharm.

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