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    Spartan Stores Reports Sales Decline in First Quarter, Plans to Close 12 Stores

    GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Spartan Stores Inc. on Wednesday reported that consolidated net sales for its first quarter ending June 22, 2002 decreased 8.0 percent to $765.6 million from $832.5 million in last year's first quarter.

    GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Spartan Stores Inc., which owns and operates 100 supermarkets and 25 deep-discount drug stores in Michigan and Ohio, on Wednesday reported that consolidated net sales for its first quarter ending June 22, 2002 decreased 8.0 percent to $765.6 million from $832.5 million in last year's first quarter.

    The company, which also is a wholesaler, said overall sales decline was due to competitive market conditions in the Ohio retail market and continued soft economic conditions in Michigan and Ohio. Retail comparable-store sales for the first quarter declined 8.0 percent. Adjusting for the early Easter holiday, comparable-stores sales declined 6.7 percent for the quarter.

    "Although the quarterly sales performance remains well below our goals, we are pleased to have returned our operations to profitability on an adjusted basis just one quarter after reporting our first loss as a public company," said Spartan Stores' chairman, president, and CEO, James B. Meyer. "We believe that many of the recent fundamental changes made to our operations are beginning to produce the expected improvements. More favorable sales trends gained momentum as the first quarter progressed, and we are seeing early signs that the improvements are continuing into the second quarter.

    Meyer added that as Spartan focuses on improving profitability and retail operational performance, it will be closing 10 under-performing stores in Ohio and two stores in Michigan early in the third quarter. As part of its store-remodeling program, Spartan will complete the two remaining store remodel projects currently in progress during the second quarter, and has made remodeling commitments for an additional six stores in the greater Toledo area during the second half of fiscal 2003.

    Spartan's banners include Ashcraft's Markets, Family Fare Supermarkets, Food Town, Glen's Markets, Great Day Food Centers, Prevo's Family Markets and The Pharm. The company also distributes more than 40,000 private-label and national brand products to more than 330 independent grocery stores and serves as a wholesale distributor to 6,600 convenience stores.

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