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Just a few years ago, Supervalu was a grocery powerhouse, owning and operating thousands of stores across the country. But after selling off most of its retail holdings, it’s now primarily a supplier to independent grocers, with just a handful of grocery chains to call its own.

Minus one, that is.

The company has announced plans to sell off its Farm Fresh chain, which consists of 38 stores in southeastern Virginia and just across the state line in North Carolina. Harris Teeter will get ten, Kroger eight, Food Lion three and the remaining 17 are available for sale.

The stores sold so far are expected to officially change hands sometime in May. Before then, going-out-of-business sales will be held, so Harris Teeter, Kroger and Food Lion will be able to start fresh with empty stores, which they will need time to renovate and restock before reopening.

“Exiting the Farm Fresh banner will enable us to allocate greater resources and energy toward the strategic growth of our wholesale business,” Supervalu President and CEO Mark Gross said in a statement. “This decision was not taken lightly given the impact on our employees and the communities we serve, but we strongly believe this decision is in the best long-term financial and strategic interest of our business.”

Virginia Beach-based Farm Fresh was founded six decades ago and expanded through a couple of acquisitions in the 80’s. By the 90’s, it had gone bankrupt and changed hands a couple of times, ending up in Supervalu’s portfolio in 1999.

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The chain hasn’t merited a whole lot of mentions here on Coupons in the News, though there were a couple of fun stories from a few years ago – like the time they doubled coupons valued at up to $3 (try finding a promotion like that these days), and the time they decided to stop listing most of their weekly sale items in their weekly sales circulars, creating a bizarre “treasure hunt” atmosphere before shoppers revolted and Farm Fresh relented.

Since Supervalu sold off Albertsons, ACME, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s and other chains in 2013, followed by Save-A-Lot in 2016, it was left with five grocery chains in seven states and Washington, D.C., totaling fewer than 200 stores in all. As Supervalu turned its attention to its wholesale business, many shoppers and staffers began to feel that their stores were becoming neglected, while many investors began to feel the retail stores were becoming a drag on Supervalu’s more successful wholesale business.

So investors are likely to cheer that Supervalu is unloading a retail chain, while shoppers and employees may not be so sure just yet. “We are working with the buyers to ensure a smooth transition and we expect them to offer positions to many Farm Fresh employees,” Supervalu’s Anne Dament, Executive Vice President of Retail, Marketing and Private Brands, said reassuringly.

As grocery chains go, Farm Fresh may not have the most storied history and certainly doesn’t have national name recognition. But to shoppers who made Farm Fresh a regular stop – not to mention employees who made a living there – change is always a bit unsettling. With discounters like Lidl and ALDI, along with higher-end chains like Publix and Wegmans, moving into its territory, Farm Fresh has found itself where many middle-of-the-road grocery stores do these days – fading into history.

Below is the latest list of the fate of each Farm Fresh location, which will be updated as any future store sales are announced. Those that have not yet been sold, are on the market. Supervalu says it is “exploring potential transactions to sell the remaining Farm Fresh stores to current and prospective wholesale customers and certain Farm Fresh employees”. There’s no word on whether any prospective buyers will retain the Farm Fresh name and/or each store’s staff. They will not retain the stores’ pharmacy business – customers who have prescriptions at any unsold Farm Fresh location will be contacted about having their files transferred to other pharmacies in the area.

TO BE SOLD TO INDEPENDENT OPERATORS, WILL KEEP FARM FRESH NAME (sales announced on May 14):

AddressCity, State
799 Chimney Hill Shopping CenterVirginia Beach, VA
353 Chatham DriveNewport News, VA
2320 E Main St.Richmond, VA

TO BE SOLD TO FOOD LION:

AddressCity, State
1615 General Booth BlvdVirginia Beach, VA
683 Hughes BlvdElizabeth City, NC
608 E Mercury BlvdHampton, VA

TO BE SOLD TO HARRIS TEETER:

AddressCity, State
2110 Great Neck Shopping CenterVirginia Beach, VA
227 Fox Hill Rd, A01Hampton, VA
4511 John Tyler HwyWilliamsburg, VA
3675 Bridge RdSuffolk, VA
1400 Kempsville Rd Suite 109Chesapeake, VA
179 W Ocean View AveNorfolk, VA
521 Laskin RdVirginia Beach, VA
1069 Independence BlvdVirginia Beach, VA
730 W 21st StNorfolk, VA
2129 General Booth BlvdVirginia Beach, VA

TO BE SOLD TO KROGER:

AddressCity, State
1401 N Main StSuffolk, VA
230 E Little Creek RdNorfolk, VA
2190 Coliseum DrHampton, VA
309 S Battlefield BlvdChesapeake, VA
1282 Smithfield PlazaSmithfield, VA
6500-c George Washington Memorial HwyYorktown, VA
1464 Mt. Pleasant RdChesapeake, VA
7254 George Washington Memorial HwyHayes, VA

CLOSING OR CLOSED STORES STILL AVAILABLE FOR SALE:

AddressCity, State
1620 Cedar RoadChesapeake, VA
701 A. N. Battlefield BoulevardChesapeake, VA
1459 Armory DriveFranklin, VA
30 Towne Center WayHampton, VA
601 Children’s LaneNorfolk, VA
201 E. Berkley AvenueNorfolk, VA
460 Wythe Creek RoadPoquoson, VA
4001 Virginia Beach BoulevardVirginia Beach, VA
2058 S. Independence BoulevardVirginia Beach, VA
4000 Victory BoulevardPortsmouth, VA
4876 Princess Anne RoadVirginia Beach, VA
115 Norge LaneWilliamsburg, VA
1200 North Military HighwayNorfolk, VA
928 Diamond Spring RoadVirginia Beach, VA

Image source: Supervalu

3 Comments

  1. Laurence D Pearson says:

    When is the north battlefield store opening?

  2. Debbie Esposito says:

    When will the Kroger’s open??

  3. So who can sale farm fresh chicken now?

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