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    Gordy’s Switches to SpartanNash as Primary Wholesaler

    Breaks from Supervalu; changeover to be complete by May

    Gordy’s Market, the largest family-owned chain in western Wisconsin with 21 supermarkets, has named SpartanNash its primary wholesaler after a years-long affiliation with Supervalu.

    SpartanNash will service Gordy's stores out of its St. Cloud, Minn., distribution center with the first shipment of products to begin arriving at the regional retailer's locations beginning next month. The transition is expected to be completed by May. The wholesaler will supply national brands as well as its own brands: Our Family, Top Care, Value Time and Full Circle.

    “We have been impressed by SpartanNash’s leadership, commitment to growth, private brand offerings and portfolio of value added services,” said David Schafer, CFO of Eau Claire, Wis.-based Gordy’s.

    Dennis Eidson, president and CEO of Grand Rapids, Mich.-based SpartanNash, declared Gordy's “a perfect fit for our distribution operations. We have years of experience meeting our Wisconsin customers’ preferences, our St. Cloud DC is strategically located to minimize food miles, and we are positioned to help Gordy’s grow. We see this agreement as a win/win for both parties.”

    The switch came as "a bit of a surprise" for an industry observer who requested anonymity, who added that it "might well be a reflection of some of the changes occurring at Supervalu," including the retirements of President/CEO Sam Duncan and Janel Haugarth, EVP and president of Independent Business and Supply Chain Services, as well as the anticipated pending spin-off of its Save-A-Lot division.

    "When Supervalu was struggling about five years ago, Nash Finch wasn’t really able to take advantage of the situation," the industry observer noted. "However, now that the kinks are worked out following the 2013 merger of Spartan Foods and Nash Finch that has since resulted in the creation of SpartanNash, the signing of Gordy's signifies the first big 'win' for the combined company in the old Nash Finch territory."

    A 'Mega' deal in more ways than one

    In related news, Gordy’s Markets, which has made several acquisitions within the last year and which will celebrate 50 years in business in 2016, concurrently announced this week the acquisition of three Mega Co-op stores, which will soon fly the Gordy’s Markets banner.

    As part of the deal, Gordy’s is selling Mega Co-op its 13 fuel stations, which will operate as Mega Holidays. Gordy’s will now operate 24 supermarkets and Mega Co-op will own 33 convenience stores and fuel centers. The transaction is expected to close in late February.

    “Both companies will be bigger and stronger as a result of this agreement. This helps ensure a positive future for both our businesses,” said Mike Buck, president of Mega Co-op.

    The two companies will continue to operate separately but plan to collaborate on future new locations and support each other with joint loyalty programs. Gordy’s Markets is currently building its first location from the ground up in Stanley, Wis.

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