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Hannaford Supermarkets has reached an agreement with family-owned independent operator Paradis Shop 'n Save to purchase three of its supermarkets in eastern Maine. The stores are in Houlton, Caribou and Calais.
The Houlton and Caribou locations, both featuring full-service pharmacies, will convert to the Hannaford banner. Hannaford plans to offer existing employees at those stores positions, company spokesman Eric Blom confirmed to Progressive Grocer.
"These communities are wonderful places to run grocery stores and are a great fit for our business," he noted. "With deep Maine roots, we are confident that Hannaford can provide customers in Houlton and Caribou with the fresh products, variety, low everyday prices and exceptional customer service that they deserve."
Remaining Independent in Calais
Meanwhile, the Paradis family will continue running the Calais supermarket until Hannaford finds an independent company to take over operations. "We feel as though the Calais market will be best served by an independent store, where the new owner would be able to offer services and/or products that fit the local market well, but are not part of Hannaford's business strategy," explained Blom.
"[T]he time for us to sell to a great organization like Hannaford is right," noted Craig Paradis, treasurer of Paradis Shop 'n Save. The Paradis family still owns markets in Fort Kent, Madawaska and Brewer, Maine.
Scarborough-based Hannaford, which already operates 185 stores, 57 of them in Maine, declined to disclose the sale price. Blom told PG he expected the deal to close in early November, at which time the Houlton and Caribou stores will transition to the Hannaford banner, while the Calais store's transition hasn't yet been determined.
"Customers will continue to see familiar faces and the products that they have come to appreciate once this transition takes place," promised Tom Perry, Hannaford director of operations for eastern Maine. The Paradis stores are wholesale customers of Hannaford and already carry many Hannaford-brand items.
This isn't the first time this year a major international player has scooped up an independent New England supermarket: In July, a subsidiary of Ahold USA bought Eastside Marketplace, an upscale single-store operator that's long been a fixture in Providence, R.I. At the time the transaction was made public, Ahold USA COO James McCann described Eastside as "a terrific community asset."
Owned by Delhaize America, a subsidiary of Brussels-based Delhaize Group, Hannaford employs more than 26,000 people.