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Published: Friday, 6/13/2003

Spartan unloads another location

BY BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

A Food Town supermarket in Perrysburg has been sold to a local independent grocer as Spartan Stores Inc. continues to dispose of its remaining area grocery stores.

Allen Kazmaier, owner of Kazmaier's Five-Star Markets, has purchased the 33,000-square foot Food Town store at 132 East Boundary St., employees were told yesterday. The store's last day as a Food Town will be June 27. It employs 50 workers.

Mr. Kazmaier could not be reached for comment, so it was not known if he plans to open his third grocery store in metro Toledo or move his existing Perrysburg store, on East 2nd Street, into the Food Town site. He also has a Five-Star Market in Maumee.

Spartan officials did not return calls seeking comment about what the Food Town workers were told, or about the status of the remaining Food Towns. The company has begun substantial price discounts on Spartan merchandise in many of its stores, as it tries to pare inventory in preparation for a sale or closing.

The Perrysburg sale brings to 20 the number of Food Towns still controlled by Spartan, based in Grand Rapids, Mich. Since April, the retailer and wholesaler has been trying to dispose of the unprofitable chain it bought in August, 2000.

It had 39 stores at the start of the year but closed 13 in April and said the rest would be sold, closed, or converted to Pharm discount drugstores, which it also bought in 2000. Interested in purchasing some of the stores are Kroger, Giant Eagle, and other grocery stores, sources with knowledge of discussions have told The Blade.

Spartan this month announced it would close two more stores and sold stores at 211 N. Telegraph, Monroe, in Rockwood, Mich., and in Willard, Ohio.

The Detroit businessman who purchased the two Michigan stores this week, Rick Kouza, also bought a closed Food Town, at 1703 Airport Hwy., in Toledo, one of 13 shuttered two months ago, a source said.

- JON CHAVEZ



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