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    United Supermarkets Bows New Hispanic Banner

    LUBBOCK, Texas - Touting a "renewed commitment to the growing Hispanic population" in its trade areas, United Supermarkets, LLC here yesterday unveiled a new store format under the banner Amigos at a converted supermarket in Plainview, Texas.

    LUBBOCK, Texas - Touting a "renewed commitment to the growing Hispanic population" in its trade areas, United Supermarkets, LLC here yesterday unveiled a new store format under the banner Amigos at a converted supermarket in Plainview, Texas.

    The banner, the Spanish translation of "friends," will replace the chain's previous Hispanic format, Super Mercado.

    The chain also said it will convert two existing United Supermarkets stores, in Lubbock and Amarillo, to the Amigos format in 2008.

    Plainview's Super Mercado store has served as a laboratory for refining the Amigos format during the past 24 months, the retailer said. New and expanded additions to the Amigos banner will be a taqueria, tortilleria, panderia, carniceria, and an assortment of specialty products, fruits, and vegetables.

    "This is a historic moment in the life of our 91-year-old company," said United Supermarkets c.e.o. Dan J. Sanders in a statement. "It is the culmination of two years of work to refine this new format, and we are grateful to the countless team members who helped make it possible."

    The addition of the Amigos banner gives the company three distinctive store formats. United Supermarkets is its traditional banner, and Market Street is the grocer's specialty banner. Amigo is the latest iteration of United's international division.

    United Supermarkets began to refine its trio of market strategies last summer, with the reorganization of its 46 existing stores into the three distinct divisions.

    The Amigos stores are among the 16 stores in the international division. The remaining 13 international division stores will remain under the United Supermarkets banner, but will be re-merchandised to better serve their local guests, the company said.

    The first Amigos store will serve Plainview's growing Hispanic community, as well as other West Texans with a palate for Mexican food, said United.

    "While the primary focus of international division will be on our Hispanic guests, we will also look at other populations that we can better serve," said Sidney Hopper, e.v.p./c.o.o. of the international division. "We will continue to offer the same level of service and exceptional product quality our guests have come to expect from United, but with a renewed emphasis on the shopping experience that will make them feel even more welcome."

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