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Houchens Expands Cost-Plus Format

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Houchens Industries here is slowly rolling out a new cost-plus supermarket format known as Price Less Foods, a company spokesman confirmed.

Price Less stores have opened in four locations, most recently last week at the site of a former IGA operated by Houchens in Weber City, Va. Stores also operate in Kingsport, Tenn., and Johnson City, Tenn. — also former IGA sites.

Alan Larsen, the Houchens spokesman, said additional Price Less stores were in development, but would not specify how many or their locations. A web search returned job postings advertising Price Less stores hiring for new stores coming to Old Hickory, Tenn., and Hendersonville, Tenn.

Price Less stores offer a full range of branded groceries priced at cost, with a 10% fee added to the basket at checkout. The company said product cost is determined by the total expense to buy and receive products from its supplier, including freight, fuel surcharge, labor, warehouse and overhead.

Minneapolis-based Nash Finch Co. experimented with a similar pricing scheme a few years ago at its Avanza banner in Denver but discontinued it after consumers complained that the pricing was deceptive. The company settled lawsuits related to the pricing in 2010.

Read more: Avanza Ends Shelf-Plus Pricing

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