Kroger/Harris Teeter, Food Lion Close On 21 Farm Fresh Stores

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n March 14, parent company Supervalu announced that it sent 60-day WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification) notices to more than 3,000 associates, informing them that they would be losing their jobs. On that same day, Supervalu said that 21 of its 38 stores would be sold to Kroger, Harris Teeter and Food Lion for $43 million and that it would explore sales opportunities for the remaining 17 units (a complete list of all 38 stores and their current status can be found on on the next page).

Since the original announcement, Food Lion has opened its three stores (which include pharmacies); Harris Teeter is still remodeling its 10 supermarkets (which include six in-store pharmacies and three fuel centers); and HT’s parent Kroger has opened pharmacies at the eight units it purchased while it continues to remodel the core physical stores. The company has built walls to separate the pharmacies from the construction process of the supermarkets. As part of the deal, Kroger also acquired four fuel centers.

Of the 17 stores that were unsold at the time of the announcement, three have subsequently found buyers. Chris Lee, who currently operates the Grand Mart in Virginia Beach and J&J International Market in Woodbridge, VA, has acquired the Farm Fresh units in the Chimney Hill Shopping Center in Virginia Beach and the store on Chatham Road in Newport News, VA. He is expected to continue to use the Farm Fresh banner. Farm Fresh’s lone store in Richmond on East Main Street (Shockoe Bottom) has been sold to Grocery Holdings LLC, a company comprised of Raphael Strumlauf, Mark Green and Kurt Wassenaar. Strumlauf owns the 3,500 square foot Market Street Market in Charlottesville, VA and the triumvirate collectively own the 20,000 square foot Crozet Market in Crozet, VA. At 37,000 square feet, the Shockoe Bottom location will be the group’s largest store. They, too, will maintain the Farm Fresh name. Unlike with the Food Lion, Harris Teeter and Kroger sales, Supervalu is expected to continue to supply those three stores from its Mechanicsville, VA distribution center.

At presstime, three Farm Fresh stores (460 Wythe Creek Road, Poquoson, VA; 115 Norge Lane, Williamsburg, VA; and 928 Diamond Springs Road, Virginia Beach, VA) remain open as the company looks to deplete its final inventory while also pursuing opportunities to sell those stores to independent buyers. Farm Fresh was founded in 1957 by David Furman.