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    Spartan Stores Explores Alternatives for its Food Town Retail Grocery Stores

    GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Spartan Stores Inc. on Tuesday said it is working with The Food Partners, an investment banking firm specializing in the food industry, to explore alternative strategies related to its Food Town retail grocery stores.

    GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Spartan Stores Inc. on Tuesday said it is working with The Food Partners, an investment banking firm specializing in the food industry, to explore alternative strategies related to its Food Town retail grocery stores. This exploration process does not include the company's 21 deep-discount stores operating under The Pharm banner.

    A recent report in The Toledo Blade newspaper said that all 39 Food Town units have been listed as "for sale" in an information sheet put together by a local investment banking firm. Spartan did not confirm the report.

    "We are diligently working to implement the best possible solution for 39 Food Town retail grocery stores in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan," stated Spartan Stores' chairman, president, and CEO James B. Meyer. "All options under consideration are intended to more rapidly return our overall retail operations to profitability."

    Last month the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer sold seven shopping centers in Michigan for $46 million to New York-based New Plan Excel Realty Trust Inc. Meyer said the sale corresponded with the company's efforts to channel resources from non-core functions to its key grocery and convenience business operations.

    The company in July said it would close 12 stores and lay off about 400 people.

    Spartan Stores owns and operates 94 supermarkets and 21 deep-discount drug stores in Michigan and Ohio.

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