Safeway prepares to exit Philadelphia market

Giant Food to convert stores it is purchasing

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway on Thursday announced the sale of 16 of its Genuardi's stores in the greater Philadelphia area to Giant Food Stores, a division of Ahold USA. Safeway will continue to operate these stores until the transaction closes, and the company is working through an orderly transition for all of these stores.

In addition, Safeway plans to close three Genuardi's stores and sell the remaining eight Genuardi's stores, which it will continue to operate while it is working with potential buyers.

"We have made the decision to exit the greater Philadelphia market, including four stores in New Jersey, and focus our resources in those operating areas where we have a stronger presence," stated Steve Neibergall, president of Safeway's eastern division. "We will be working with the purchasers to ease the transition for our store employees and making efforts to facilitate continued employment for as many of them as possible."

As for Giant, the company plans to convert the stores under the Giant Food banner.

"Giant is always looking for convenient locations to better serve our customers," Giant Food president Rick Herring said. "We are very excited to have the opportunity to expand our presence in greater Philadelphia and serve new customers."

The sale currently is expected to close within the first half of 2012, subject to customary closing conditions, including expiration of the applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976.

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