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Gristedes-D'Agostino merger still on

Partnership will help both brands, Catsimadis says

A partnership between one-time New York grocery rivals Gristedes and D'Agostino Supermarkets is still on, with a merger of the companies likely to be complete by the end of the year.

John Catsimatidis, whose Red Apple Group owns Gristedes, told SN Monday that a combination would help the grocers gain financial strength to better withstand the competition in Manhattan, which he said has accelerated with the expansion of well-heeled specialists like Whole Foods and Trader Joe's as well as a move by drugstores to replicate supermarket assortments in their stores.

As previously reported, Gristedes came to the aid of D'Agostino's over the summer after the financially struggling D'Agostino's saw supplies slow to a trickle. Catsimatidis said Monday that it was still supporting the company in advance of a formal business combination. "We're all operating normally now," he said, adding that decisions about combining central staffs and suppliers would follow completion of a business combination.

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