FURR'S GOING TO FOOD SELF-DISTRIBUTION

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Furr's Supermarkets here said it will switch from Fleming Cos. to self-distribution for grocery products and perishables and launch an aggressive growth plan that includes remodels and new store development. The 68-store chain also announced that there would be no change of ownership. or lease a distribution center and make the switch sometime in the next five to six months.Furr's

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Furr's Supermarkets here said it will switch from Fleming Cos. to self-distribution for grocery products and perishables and launch an aggressive growth plan that includes remodels and new store development. The 68-store chain also announced that there would be no change of ownership.

or lease a distribution center and make the switch sometime in the next five to six months.

Furr's said it will operate its own distribution center for all perishable and grocery items. The company will continue to strengthen its relationships with local producers and manufacturers. The change will have no effect on Furr's own private-label line. However, Doyle said the chain may add more stockkeeping units. Doyle said it is likely that the chain will continue to be supplied by Fleming's nonfood warehouse in Dallas.

Furr's filed a $75 million lawsuit against Fleming in March 1997, accusing Fleming and several executives with overcharges, breach of contract, misrepresentation, fraud and violations of certain New Mexico trade practices. Despite the charges, Fleming continued to service the Furr's account under the terms of their 10-year supply contract, which was due to expire in March 2001.

Fleming eventually agreed to pay Furr's $800,000 a month for the life of its supply agreement with the retailer to settle the dispute.