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Business

Foodland Fresh store to be a Shop 'n Save

| Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2006

The Foodland Fresh supermarket along East Pittsburgh Street in Greensburg has a new owner and once again is flying the Shop 'n Save banner.

Veteran retail grocer Ray Charley, owner of the Shop 'n Save on Route 66 North just outside Greensburg, has acquired the store. Charley closed the deal Monday and said he plans to reopen the location today as a Shop 'n Save.

"We're compressing a tremendous amount of work in a short period of time. Our focus is to get the store up and running as soon as possible," Charley said.

The Foodland Fresh store was operated by Gary Wheatley, who bought the East Pittsburgh Street store in 1997 from food wholesaler SuperValu Inc., based in Eden Prairie, Minn. The Foodland Fresh concept has a larger inventory of perishables than a traditional Foodland.

"I'm looking at doing some major remodeling over the next six months to a year," said Charley. He also said he plans to retain the 115 workers inherited from the Foodland Fresh store.

Charley said he bought the business from Wheatley but did not disclose terms of the deal. Charley said that long-time grocer and businessman Robert Davis still owns the real estate.

Charley said he plans to keep his Shop 'n Save store at North Main Street, which is also known as the Route 66 store. Both Shop 'n Save and Foodland are supplied by SuperValu.

Charley said he has known Wheatley for 20 years, and the deal was a good fit for both. "He was looking at consolidating, and it looked like the right opportunity for me," said Charley.

Wheatley could not be reached for comment. Wheatley operates a Shop 'n Save in Saltsburg, Indiana County, and a Save-A-Lot, a deep-discount store stocked by SuperValu, located at 404 E. Pittsburgh St.

The Foodland Fresh store is returning to the Shop 'n Save banner after a 10-year hiatus. The store, along with Shop 'n Save locations on Route 136 in Hempfield Township and Route 30 in Unity Township, were operated by Davis Supermarkets Inc. and purchased by SuperValu in October 1996.

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