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Giant Eagle Acquires County Market Stores

PITTSBURGH - Giant Eagle Inc. has announced that it will acquire and convert six County Market grocery stores to Giant Eagle supermarkets in the first quarter of this year.

The acquisition, which includes two stores in Frederick and one store each in Hagerstown and Lavale, is the first entry into Northern Maryland for the region?s leading grocery chain. The other two stores are located in Johnstown and Somerset, Pa., where Giant Eagle currently has a market presence.

The County Market stores are presently independently owned and operated by Tony Rivellino and Mike Giovinazzo.

"As we reviewed the County Market stores, we found that our goals closely parallel Tony and Mike's goals -- to be a unique provider that offers solutions for busy customers, good value and high quality," said Laura Karet, Giant Eagle senior vice president, marketing. "This transaction also provides an opportunity for Giant Eagle to enter the Northern Maryland market, which has very exciting prospects for us."

Karet said she expects the transaction to be finalized soon.

"We'll begin operating the stores at some point in the first quarter of 2002, with no inconvenience to customers during the conversion period," she said. "Customers will be happy to know that the present management team and all of the store employees will be retained.

"The acquisition and smooth conversion of the stores is very important to us. We want a seamless transition, so we're sending our best people to each market to work with the present management," Karet added.

Founded in 1931, the family-owned Giant Eagle Inc. has grown to be the number one supermarket retailer in the region with 113 corporate and 89 independently owned and operated stores throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio and north central West Virginia.
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