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Pittsburgh Market Shake Up Continues

PITTSBURGH -- James Sorbara, a local grocery veteran here, has purchased five Shop 'n Save stores in the metro market from Supervalu, which put 20 corporate stores on the block last fall. Sorbara previously owned two Shop 'n Saves, which he sold to Minneapolis-based Supervalu in 1998.

Three other Shop 'n Save stores have also been sold recently, although specific buyers weren't disclosed, while seven stores remain in various stages of negotiations and could be closed if not sold, according to company officials.

Giant Eagle, Inc., also based here, also disclosed a series of changes at area franchised stores, including the closure of Bob Budd's independently owned and operated Giant Eagle supermarket in the Olympia Village in McKeesport, which will cease operations May 3. However, Giant Eagle anticipates that it will convert the Shop 'n Save supermarket located about 2.5 miles from the Olympia Village location in White Oak to a full-service independently owned and operated Giant Eagle supermarket on May 4.

The closure of the Olympia store comes despite a campaign asking both local and county officials to work to keep the store open. The new 57,000-square-foot White Oak Giant Eagle will be about 27,000-square feet larger than the Olympia location and will include a full-service in-store pharmacy and a Nature's Basket department.

Giant Eagle will offer all employees affected by the Olympia Giant Eagle closure the opportunity to be considered for positions with other area Giant Eagle supermarkets. The employees at the White Oak and Penn Township locations will remain employed. Giant Eagle's nearby McKeesport supermarket, located at 3812 O'Neill Blvd., will continue normal operations.

In a related transaction, Giant Eagle also plans to convert a Festival Foods Store in Penn Township, Westmoreland County, to a Giant Eagle by May 4. The store, which employs about 150 workers, will continue to be owned and operated by the Scozio group.
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