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    ShopRite to Pass Ex-Stop & Shop Stores to Members

    ELIZABETH, N.J., -- The 10 New Jersey and New York stores Wakefern Food Corp. here is purchasing from Quincy, Mass.-based Stop & Shop Supermarket Co. will be retrofitted on an accelerated timeline and reopened as ShopRite supermarkets owned and operated by various Wakefern cooperative members.

    ELIZABETH, N.J., -- The 10 New Jersey and New York stores Wakefern Food Corp. here is purchasing from Quincy, Mass.-based Stop & Shop Supermarket Co. will be retrofitted on an accelerated timeline and reopened as ShopRite supermarkets owned and operated by various Wakefern cooperative members.

    Wakefern spokeswoman Karen Meleta told Progressive Grocer that the company hoped to reopen the stores as early as September, although she stressed that the process could take longer.

    Stop & Shop said last week that it was selling the stores because of their poor financial performance.

    Of the New Jersey stores, in addition to the Abescon, N.J. store, which Village Super Market, Inc. has already said it will acquire, two locations in Cherry Hill and one in Mt. Laurel will go to Supermarkets of Cherry Hill, Inc.; another store in Mt. Laurel will go to Eickhoff Supermarkets, Inc.; supermarkets in Sicklerville, Laurel Springs will go to Zallie Supermarkets; and the Mullica Hill Stop & Shop will go to Ammons Supermarkets, Inc.

    "The acquisition of the stores in South Jersey represents an unprecedented growth opportunity for Wakefern and its members," said Wakefern chairman and c.e.o. Joseph Colalillo in a statement. "The market area has been very supportive of ShopRite over the years, and this addition further underscores the Wakefern members' dedication and commitment to customers and communities in the South Jersey market area."

    Additionally, the Stop & Shop in Middletown, N.Y. will become a replacement store for the current ShopRite at 400 Route 211 East in Wallkill Plaza, which is operated by ShopRite Supermarkets, Inc. (SRS).

    PNC Bank branches and service pharmacies in all of these locations will continue to operate during the changeover.

    The acquisition is expected to close by Aug. 15, according to Wakefern.

    The largest retailer-owned coop in the United States, Wakefern is made up of 38 members who individually own and operate supermarkets under the ShopRite banner.

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