ACME TAKES OVER COMMUNITY CASH UNITS

NORTH TAZEWELL, Va. -- Acme Markets of Virginia here said it has completed the acquisition of 12 units from Community Cash Stores, Spartanburg, S.C., enabling it to nearly double the number of stores it operates.Acme took over management of the stores in mid-May, two days before Community Cash filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 7. According to Ed Kolodzieski, Acme president, Chapter 7 usually

NORTH TAZEWELL, Va. -- Acme Markets of Virginia here said it has completed the acquisition of 12 units from Community Cash Stores, Spartanburg, S.C., enabling it to nearly double the number of stores it operates.

Acme took over management of the stores in mid-May, two days before Community Cash filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 7. According to Ed Kolodzieski, Acme president, Chapter 7 usually requires a company to close its stores, but since Acme management was already running them, it was allowed to keep them open as an agent of the company's court-appointed trustee.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Columbia, S.C., subsequently approved Acme's offer to purchase the assets of Community Cash for about $2.5 million, Kolodzieski told SN.

The purchase boosted Acme's store count from 14 to 26. With the acquisition, Acme operates stores in southwest Virginia, West Virginia, eastern Kentucky and South Carolina.

Kolodzieski said Acme is seeking additional locations in North Carolina and Tennessee.

The former Community Cash stores are slightly smaller, at 15,000 to 30,000 square feet, than Acme stores, which average 30,000 square feet, Kolodzieski said. However, they serve a similar demographic and, like Acme, most are located in rural towns, he added. "But they are in need of quite a bit of remodeling," he said, adding that Acme plans to begin renovating the stores in the next few weeks to expand the number of stockkeeping units and, where possible, to add deli-bakeries, either through store expansion or within the existing space.

When Acme took over the stores, it offered to rehire all 400 of the company's employees.