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Delhaize Group Forms New Florida-Focused Supermarket Concept

TAMPA, Fla. - Kash n' Karry, the Florida-based supermarket company of Delhaize Group, announced on Monday the creation and rollout of a new supermarket concept in Florida called Sweetbay Supermarket.

The new stores have been designed especially for the Florida market, with plans for the first of the new stores to open in Seminole, Naples and Fort Myers markets in fall 2004.

In its initial phase, the concept will be developed as a new brand, in addition to the existing Kash n' Karry brand, under the guidance and management of Kash n' Karry's senior management team.

Over the next three years, the entire chain will transform to the new brand, and all new and remodeled stores will reflect the new concept and positioning, according to the company.

"The new brand and store concept will express the vibrant, exciting and diverse tastes, colors, and aromas of great food that are so important to Floridians," said Shelley Broader, president and c.o.o. of Kash n' Karry.

Broader, who was named president and c.o.o. of Kash n' Karry in June 2003 and came to Florida after years of experience at Delhaize-owned Hannaford Bros. Co. in the Northeast, will lead the new store development. "We could have taken the easy route, with something as simple as changing the name of the stores and giving them a light remodel. But we decided to do the hard work, which is inventing a new store concept from the ground up," said Broader. "We are guided by extensive customer research and 50 years of experience in the market."

Broader said Sweetbay Supermarket's vision is based on studies into Florida shoppers' quest for more than just quality and variety. "Floridians told us they also want to satisfy their appetite for knowledge and inspiration about inventive food choices. The desire for excellent and exciting food is not related to economic status, but rather to lifestyle choices and personal interests," said Broader.

"Kash n' Karry is a strong regional chain with growing sales and operating profits, and its employees will continue to be a vital part of the organization during this transformation," Broader continued. "Because Kash n' Karry has already closed several store properties that had been a drain on earnings and other resources, we can develop the new concept and still maintain quality with our two brands in Florida during the three year transformation."
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