MINNEAPOLIS — Supervalu  said Monday it would exit the Cincinnati retail market, selling six Bigg’s stores to local rival Remke Markets and closing its remaining five Bigg’s locations.
Remke, a family-run retailer based in Erlanger, Ky., currently operates seven Remke stores. Remke earlier this year agreed to source its products from Supervalu’s Xenia, Ohio, warehouse, which will also continue to supply the Bigg’s stores.
A purchase price was not disclosed. The stores to be transferred include four in Cincinnati and one each in Hyde Park and Mason, Ohio. Bill Remke, president and chief executive officer of Remke Markets, told SN in an interview Monday that the stores to be acquired were Bigg’s smaller stores, averaging around 65,000 square feet each. The five stores set to close were larger Bigg’s locations originally developed as food and general merchandise “hypermarkets.” Those stores are expected to close before the end of May. Remke will take over the others in June.
Remke said the company would operate the Bigg’s stores under their own banners “for now” but that it would look into ways to combine the organizations in the months ahead. He described the combination as bringing together Remke’s flair for perishables and local roots with Bigg’s reputation for sharp pricing.
Bigg’s was founded in Cincinnati as a food and general merchandise hypermarket in 1984, and was acquired by Supervalu in 1994. In November, its president and chief executive officer, Steve Kaczynski, left the company.
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