The retail scene in the Twin Cities is about to see a large changeover as Milwaukee-based Roundy’s Inc. has plans to sell 18 Rainbow stores in the Minneapolis-St. Paul market to a group of grocery retailers led by Eden Prairie, Minn.-based Supervalu Inc. and Lund Food Holdings Inc., but company officials say there are no immediate plans to change up the produce aisle.
Jeff Swanson, director of corporate communications for Supervalu, said the deal will increase the company’s service to customers in the Twin Cities area, and that some remodeling and renovations are planned, but nothing is set yet.
“Our focus right now and for the next 60 days is to finalize and close these transactions,” Swanson said.
After that, he said the newly acquired stores may close for a couple days for preparation to reopen as Cub stores.
“Maybe down the line we could do some larger-scale remodels to make those new stores fit a little more of where our direction is,” Swanson said.
At this time, there are no set plans for any changes to the produce portion of the stores.
“That’s something we’ll communicate once we have those stores under our operation,” he said.
The plan for the deal is that 10 of the Rainbow stores will become Cub Foods locations, two will become Byerly’s and six will stay as Rainbows under new ownership.
The remaining nine Roundy’s-owned Rainbow locations will either be closed or sold to other buyers.
Swanson said Supervalu will supply the 18 stores announced as part of the deal from its distribution center.
Cub Foods currently has 56 stores across the metro area, some corporate, some franchise-owned with independent retailers involved, Swanson said.
After the deal is final, that total will be 66 Cub Foods in the Twin Cities.
Still, competition from mass merchandisers such as Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart and Minneapolis-based Target has put some pressure on traditional grocery stores in the area.
Kowalski’s Markets, Whole Foods, Costco and Aldi also all have their own place in the market, not to mention smaller independent shops.
The retail scene switch isn’t over yet. West Des Moines, Iowa-based Hy-Vee announced earlier this year that it has plans to move into the Twin Cities area.
Swanson is optimistic about the retail scene.
“We feel the Cub Foods brand is a strong brand that provides a lot of recognition to customers after being in the market for 45 years. We feel they will appreciate the addition of these new Cub Food stores that may be closer to their neighborhoods,” Swanson said.
“We’re very excited at the opportunity to expand the Cub brand and continue to prove top notch grocery offerings to the communities here,” he said.