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Whole Foods Buys Six Boston-Area Sites

AUSTIN, Texas — Whole Foods Market said it has agreed to acquire six locations in the Boston area from Johnnie’s Foodmaster, based in Chelsea, Mass.

Terms of the transaction, which is expected to close on Nov. 30, were not disclosed. Local reports this summer indicated that such a deal was in the works, although neither company would comment at the time.

The stores are located in the Massachusetts towns of South Weymouth, Arlington, Charlestown, Brookline, Melrose and Somerville, and average 31,000 square feet. Foodmaster plans to close the stores before the transaction is completed.

Separately, Quincy, Mass.-based Stop & Shop, a division of Ahold USA, said it has acquired the lease of one of the four remaining Foodmaster stores. That store, in Medford, Mass., is slated to be converted to the Stop & Shop banner before the end of the year.

Reports said Foodmaster has begun liquidation sales at the three stores that were not sold to Whole Foods or Stop & Shop. Those stores — in Lynne, Whitman and Somerville, Mass. — are expected to close.

Read more: Whole Foods Streamlines for Growth

Whole Foods said it intends to remodel each location, with the goal of reopening all six stores before the end of its 2013 fiscal year next September.

“To have the opportunity to sell to a company like Whole Foods Market has made a tough decision much easier,” said John DeJesus, president of Johnnie’s Foodmaster, in a statement. “I know that my employees and our loyal customers are in the best hands, and that the communities will benefit greatly from the product selection and shopping experience that Whole Foods Market offers.”

Whole Foods said it has guaranteed interviews to all Foodmaster employees at the six acquired locations with the goal of hiring as many as possible.

“We are so pleased that Mr. DeJesus has given us this opportunity at a time when we are looking to expand our presence in greater Boston,” said Laura Derba, president of Whole Foods’ North Atlantic region.

Neither DeJesus nor Whole Foods could be reached for further comment.

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