FLEMING TO SELL OFF SEVEN BAKER'S SUPERMARKETS

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Fleming Cos. here said last week it has signed letters of intent with four local operators to sell seven local units of Baker's Supermarkets, including one under construction.of Beachler's IGA SuperThrift in Del City, Okla.; Jim Mills, owner of Snyder's IGA SuperThrift in Edmond, Okla., and Hank Binkowski, owner of Buy For Less here.Baker's, Omaha, Neb., which has operated as a Fleming

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Fleming Cos. here said last week it has signed letters of intent with four local operators to sell seven local units of Baker's Supermarkets, including one under construction.

of Beachler's IGA SuperThrift in Del City, Okla.; Jim Mills, owner of Snyder's IGA SuperThrift in Edmond, Okla., and Hank Binkowski, owner of Buy For Less here.

Baker's, Omaha, Neb., which has operated as a Fleming division since 1992, will continue to operate 15 stores in Nebraska.

Baker's entered this market in 1997 with the acquisition of five independent stores. It subsequently opened a sixth unit and has one under construction.

A Fleming spokesman said the wholesaler decided to sell its Oklahoma City stores "because they no longer fit into our business strategy." The deals are expected to close in the next few weeks.

Fleming will continue to supply all the stores, including those operated by Homeland, although Homeland's principal supplier is Associated Wholesale Grocers, Kansas City, Kans. The three independents are all Fleming customers.

David B. Clark, president and chief executive officer of the 80-store Homeland chain, said the addition of the four stores "will significantly strengthen Homeland's position in its core Oklahoma City market by expanding its base of supermarkets in the area. We are also strengthening our market position in Lawton (where one of the acquired stores is located).

"In addition to increased revenues the acquired supermarkets are expected to provide, we believe our future financial results will reflect the positive impact of greater economies of scale associated with purchasing, marketing and advertising and corporate administrative expenses."

The acquisition of the four Baker's units will be Homeland's fourth in the past 12 months -- a period in which it added 20 stores.