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    Giant Eagle Opening at Least Three Stores in Central Ohio Market

    PITTSBURGH -- In keeping with its plans to expand in central Ohio, Giant Eagle, based here, is opening a minimum of three stores in the region, according to a published report.

    PITTSBURGH -- In keeping with its plans to expand in central Ohio, Giant Eagle, based here, is opening a minimum of three stores in the region, according to a published report.

    New stores scheduled to open in June are being built in Grove City and Pickerington, and the grocer is currently in talks to take over a onetime Big Bear location in Liberty Township, the grocer said this week. Additional stores are likely, according to Giant Eagle s.v.p. of marketing Kevin Srigley. "Columbus is one of our fastest-growing [areas] and we plan to do more than just keep up with the market," He told the Columbus, Ohio Dispatch. Giant Eagle first entered the market in 2000.

    After the new locations open, Giant Eagle will have 18 stores in the area, each employing approximately 200 associates. The retailer is currently the fourth-ranked supermarket operator in the crowded central Ohio market, after Kroger, Wal-Mart, and Meijer.

    According to Giant Eagle spokesman Mike Duffey, the new stores will be smaller and concentrate more on convenience, as part of the grocer's bid to become the region's "neighborhood market."

    Among other attempts Giant Eagle has made to win that designation are renovating some of its Columbus locations, cutting food prices a minimum of three times in the past two years and introducing a value-priced private label line of foods.

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