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    Spartan Plans 10 New Stores in Three Years

    The grocer is also betting 15 additional fuel centers will build boost traffic in the years to come.

    Spartan Stores Inc. plans to replace or build as many as 10 stores in the next three years, said officials during the company's annual meeting this week.

    President Dennis Eidson -- who will take on additional responsibilities as c.e.o. come October - reviewed highlights of Spartan Stores' strategic retail initiatives during fiscal year 2009, which will include eight major remodels, with five already completed; and one replacement and one new ground-up store.

    The company also plans to open up to five new fuel centers, including two already under way.

    For the three-year outloook, Spartan is targeting up to 10 new/replacement stores and 15 new fuel centers, the latter of which the company considers to be great traffic-builders for its stores. During his first-ever annual shareholders presentation following his promotion last week, Eidson said fuel centers bump up a store's sales by about 5 percent, courtesy of the roughly 30 percent of fuel-purchasing customers that are taking advantage of cross promotions between the stores and its gas stations.

    Spartan's current c.e.o. Craig Sturken, who will remain chairman of the board, also addressed shareholders during the annual meeting. He pointed to the company's 91st year in operation and its eighth as a public company.

    While Sturken said fiscal 2008 was a busy year marked by record financial results, continued business expansion, and achievement of significant milestones in the growth phase of our business strategy, the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based company is on track to reach $3.2 billion in annual sales by 2010.

    In the interim, Eidson said the company will remain consumer-focused as it aims to consistently develop and deploy prototype store plans, leverage its Felpausch investment, improve its Glen's Market offer, promote value and pursue acquisitions.

    Re-elected to Spartan's board for three-year terms were Beth Nickels, president of Herman Miller for Healthcare and e.v.p. of Herman Miller Inc.; Kenneth Stevens, Spartan shareholder and former chief executive of Tween Brands Inc., and James Wright, chairman/c.e.o. of Tractor Supply Co.

    Spartan Stores supplies more than 400 independent grocery stores in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio and also owns and operates 84 supermarkets in Michigan, including Family Fare Supermarkets, Glen's Markets, D&W Fresh Markets and Felpausch Food Centers.

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