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    Sedano’s Buys 3 Orlando Albertsons Stores

    Sedano’s Supermarkets has purchased three Orlando, Fla.-area Albertsons stores, marking the Hispanic supermarket operator’s first move beyond its south Florida stomping grounds and bringing its total number of locations to 33. The company will officially take control of the stores during the first quarter of 2010.

    Sedano’s Supermarkets has purchased three Orlando, Fla.-area Albertsons stores, marking the Hispanic supermarket operator’s first move beyond its south Florida stomping grounds and bringing its total number of locations to 33. The company will officially take control of the stores during the first quarter of 2010.

    “The expansion into central Florida helps us meet customer demand, while allowing us to quickly establish a presence and significant footprint in the Orlando market, as we pursue opportunities for continued strategic and conservative growth,” said Javier Herrán, director of marketing for Hialeah, Fla.-based Sedano’s.

    The company received assistance on the deal from The Food Partners, a Washington-based investment-banking firm offering merger, acquisition and divestiture services to the supermarket industry.

    The stores, which range in size from 58,000 to 65,000 square feet, enable Sedano’s to meet the needs of Orlando’s growing Hispanic community, as well as the general population in the area.

    “Our ability to offer specialized goods, low prices and cater to our Hispanic culture have been paramount to our success throughout the years,” noted Herrán.

    The stores will feature Sedano’s customary prepared foods section, custom-cut meat department and café serving espresso and pastelitos, along with both Latin and mainstream products on the shelves.

    “Our goal is to keep the stores operating” throughout the conversion process, Herrán told Progressive Grocer yesterday during a phone interview, although he acknowledged that they might have to close down for a day. The company planned to revamp the products on the shelves to fit Sedano’s model, as well as to change the interiors to conform to its current prototype, he said. Four existing Sedano’s locations have already undergone renovation to prototype specifications, which include new signage, logos and de-cluttered aisles, noted Herrán. These changes would be carried out “as quickly as possible” at the Orlando-area stores, he said, so that they would be ready to operate as Sedano’s locations in early 2010.

    As for future expansion plans, Herrán observed that although Sedano’s had been on the lookout for opportunities to grow for some time, it was a conservative company and would take the time to weigh its options carefully before acting. Asked whether Sedano’s would ever open stores outside of Florida, he said that if “the right opportunity came along at the right time,” it would be considered, but that the company was currently focusing on its home state.

    The largest, independently owned Hispanic supermarket chain, Sedano’s, which began business in 1962, currently has 2,600 employees and 30 locations in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.

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