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Gelson’s Eyes Expansion in Calif.

LOS ANGELES — Gelson’s Market is eyeing expansion to San Diego and other markets in California, the president of the chain told SN Monday.

Gelson’s current parent company, Arden Group, announced on Friday that it had agreed to be acquired by private-equity firm TPG, Fort Worth, Texas, for $394 million.


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“TPG really understands what Gelson’s is about, and wants to see us grow,” Rob McDougall, president of Gelson’s Market, told SN. “I’m excited about that, and the whole team is excited about that.”

The upscale, service-oriented chain had not opened any stores at all between 2001 and 2013, when it opened a new unit in Long Beach, Calif. It currently operates 17 stores in the Los Angleles area.

“We had been a little bit gun-shy [about expansion] for about 10 years, but we’re not shy any more,” McDougall said.

Read more: Arden Plans to Open New Gelson's

The chain is planning to open another store at a former Vons location in La Cañada, Calif., in February, and is moving aggressively on finding additional sites. McDougall said he thinks “there are a good four to five locations” in the San Diego area that would be suitable for a Gelson’s, as well as several potential sites in Orange County and in the Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach areas.

McDougall said he believes TPG plans to retain the chain’s up-market positioning, and also to keep its executive team in place.

“I don’t see any change in our strategy, other than to grow faster,” he said.

Read more: Arden Agrees to Sale for $394 Million

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