Supervalu Looking to Unload 15 Wisc. Jewels; Roundy's to Pick Up Five

MINNEAPOLIS - Supervalu Inc. based here said it is mulling the divesture of 15 Jewel-Osco stores in the Milwaukee market, and is negotiating with Roundy's Supermarkets regarding five of the sites.

The retailer/distributor said it talking to other local retailers about the sale of the remaining 10 Jewel-Osco units in the area.

Supervalu said two of the five sites it is negotiating with Roundy's over are in Milwaukee, while the other three are in Glendale, New Berlin, and West Allis, Wis. Roundy's plans to close on the stores by month's end, according to public records filed with city officials in those communities.

Confirming the negotiations, Vivian King, Roundy's director of public affairs told Progressive Grocer her company "is currently in discussions with Supervalu regarding the sale of five Jewel Osco stores in the Milwaukee Metropolitan area," but she added, "it is important to note that at this time, no sale has occurred. Should the sale occur, we want to make it clear that it is Roundy's intention to offer employment to all store level employees at the five stores."

Jeff Noddle, Supervalu's chairman and c.e.o. said that mulling the sale of the Milwaukee Jewels is par for the course.

"Supervalu is constantly reviewing its store portfolio to identify opportunities to strengthen its overall store base," Noddle said in a statement. "When necessary, we must consider the divestiture of some stores in order to effectively compete in the marketplace. The decision to sell a store is always a difficult one because of the impact on our associates and our customers. We make these decisions only after much rigorous deliberation."
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