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    Fresh Brands to Convert Four Stores to Piggly Wiggly Brand

    SHEBOYGAN, Wis.- Fresh Brands, Inc. today announced an agreement for the conversion of four stores in western Wisconsin operated by David Hegenbarth to the Piggly Wiggly franchise.

    SHEBOYGAN, Wis.- Fresh Brands, Inc. today announced an agreement for the conversion of four stores in western Wisconsin operated by David Hegenbarth to the Piggly Wiggly franchise.

    The addition of the four stores located in the Wisconsin cities of La Crosse, Galesville, Sparta, and Arcadia will increase the company's number of franchised supermarkets to 77 and its total number of Piggly Wiggly stores to 93. The four stores are currently operated as Our Town IGA and Jubilee Foods stores.

    "We are very pleased to join the Fresh Brands family," said Hegenbarth. "We selected Fresh Brands because Piggly Wiggly is a strong brand in Wisconsin and because we believe the Fresh Brands program will enable us to maintain our competitive edge in a value-driven marketplace. Under the Piggly Wiggly banner, we look forward to enhancing the shopping experience for our customers while continuing our traditionally high level of customer service and community involvement."

    "The conversion of the four Hegenbarth stores to our Piggly Wiggly brand is a significant step in our strategy to further expand our successful franchise and wholesale business," said Louis E. Stinebaugh, e.v.p. of operations for Fresh Brands. "We understand the needs of independent operators in today's supermarket environment and are committed to helping them succeed. Our award-winning marketing and loyalty programs and experienced retail support staff, combined with our strong brand recognition and purchasing power, are powerful tools in helping franchise operators to grow their business."

    According to Michael R. Houser, vice chairman, e.v.p., and c.m.o. of Fresh Brands, the Fresh Brands program meets the needs of today's value-conscious shoppers through a variety of programs, including its participation with Topco -- the nation's largest private label cooperative -- and its Preferred Club loyalty program.

    Piggly Wiggly's emphasis on freshness revolves around its "Pampered to Perfection" produce initiative, which sets rigorous standards for produce from the field to the customer's market basket. In the meat department top-quality products include the company's exclusive Certified Restaurant Quality Angus Beef, as well as Diamond Lean Beef, Real Amish Full Circle Chicken and Farmland Full Circle All Natural Pork.

    The conversion of the four stores to the Piggly Wiggly brand is expected to be completed in May.

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