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    Former Genuardi's Employees Buy Zagara's Stores

    NORRISTOWN, Pa. - Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway has sold three of the Zagara's Specialty & Natural Foods stores that were part of its acquisition of Genuardi's Family Markets to three former Genuardi's employees.

    NORRISTOWN, Pa. - Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway has sold three of the Zagara's Specialty & Natural Foods stores that were part of its acquisition of Genuardi's Family Markets to three former Genuardi's employees.

    Two of the gourmet grocery stores are located in the New Jersey towns of Mount Laurel and Evesham, while the other store is in Glen Mills, Pa. Maryanne Crager, a spokeswoman for Norristown, Pa.-based Genuardi's, told the Burlington County Times the deal will be finalized on Thursday. She declined to reveal the sales price, but said the stores are expected to reopen Monday and will retain the Zagara's name.

    A fourth Zagara's in Jenkintown, Pa., will be permanently closed, but the date has not been decided, according to the company.

    Industry observers have said the Zagara's stores were not considered a good fit with Safeway's corporate supermarket strategy and were allegedly losing money even before the chain's acquisition of Genuardi's two years ago.

    "Zagara's has a truly great format, but the feeling is that it is a much different than Genuardi's," Crager said. "It is a specialty store and the needs of the customers are different. We feel the sale is a plus for the Zagara's customer."

    The new owners are James DeGillio, Ray Fuentes and Joseph Scarnaty, all who formerly worked at the corporate level at Genuardi's. Fuentes was director of corporate finance, while DeGillio was director of food service. No further information about Scarnaty was immediately available.

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