Fresh Brands Unveils Pig Stop Fuel/C-Store

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. - Fresh Brands Inc. on Wednesday announced the opening of another of its new "flagship" design Piggly Wiggly Fresh MarketCircle stores in Sheboygan, Wis., featuring the company's first Pig Stop fuel/convenience store.

The 50,000-square-foot Fresh MarketCircle store, which opens this Friday in Sheboygan's new Northgate Shopping Centre, is the third Fresh Brands Piggly Wiggly store designed around the firm's award-winning Fresh MarketCircle concept.

"Our new Pig Stop fuel/convenience store -- our first combination fueling station and convenience store -- will provide an added convenience for customers and an opportunity to increase sales at our adjacent Piggly Wiggly store," said Elwood Winn, president and CEO of Fresh Brands.

The Pig Stop store will feature staples like eggs, bread and milk, as well as beer and tobacco products. Freshly brewed Fresh Brands/Alterra premium coffees and freshly made deli sandwiches will also be available.

Winn said the Pig Stop will be open 24 hours a day providing automated fueling with a credit card. "Customers using a Piggly Wiggly Preferred Club Card will receive a discount of three cents per gallon on fuel as a reward to shoppers at our supermarkets," he said.

Since its completion in August 2001, the company's first Piggly Wiggly prototype store in Sheboygan's Washington Square has garnered worldwide attention. It is the recipient of the NASFM (National Association of Store Fixture Manufacturers) Award of Excellence for supermarkets. The store was also featured as the Store of the Month in the January 2002 issue of Progressive Grocer magazine.

The new Pig Stop fuel/convenience store is the first combination automated fueling station/convenience store for the company. A prototype automated fueling station in Crivitz, Wis., and a second in Omro, Wis., have both been outstanding successes, according to the company.

In other news concerning Fresh Brands, the company today reported sales and earnings for the second quarter ended July 12, 2003. Net sales for the second quarter were a record $152.2 million, a 3.6 percent increase over last year's second quarter sales of $146.9 million. However, net earnings for the second quarter of 2003 were $1.65 million, a decrease of 13.7 percent compared to earnings of $1.91 million for the same period in 2002.

Over the next year, the company expects additional openings including a new Dick's Supermarkets corporate store and fuel station/convenience store in Maquoketa, Iowa, Fresh Brand's first entry into the Iowa market. Other projects underway include an expanded and renovated franchise replacement store in Mayville, Wis., a new franchise replacement store in Union Grove, Wis., and the conversion of an acquired store in Racine, Wis., to a Piggly Wiggly supermarket.
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