STORE SPACES

Conversion underway for Genuardi’s stores in Philadelphia area

BY Allison Cerra

Carlisle, Pa. — Ahold subsidiary Giant Food said it has commenced its conversion of 15 former Genuardi’s stores. The announcement follows FTC approval of Giant Food’s plan to acquire 15 Genuardi’s stores, located in the greater Philadelphia area, from Safeway.

During the conversion process, five stores at a time will temporarily close for about a week. The three-phase staggered approach is expected to be completed on July 22.

"During the three weeks of conversion, we will strive to minimize the amount of disruption to our customers," Giant Food Stores president Rick Herring said. "Giant is committed to this multi-million dollar investment to improve the overall shopping experience in these 15 stores to meet the quality, selection and savings that customers have come to expect from Giant."

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Johnny Rockets inks deal to open 30 restaurants in Brazil

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Aliso Viejo, Calif. — Johnny Rockets said Tuesday it has finalized a franchise agreement with restaurant entrepreneur Antonio Augusto Ribeiro de Souza to open 30 restaurants in Brazil.

This news follows recent announcements of the chain’s new franchise agreements in Peru and Ecuador, as well as the opening of its second restaurant in Chile and its first in the Dominican Republic.

Augusto is a former McDonalds franchisee, and currently operates Well’s restaurants in Sao Paulo. He said he plans to open his first Johnny Rockets restaurant in Sao Paulo in late 2012 or early 2013, with additional locations soon to follow.

"With more than 205 million residents – nearly 20 million in Sao Paulo alone – Brazil represents a tremendous audience for Johnny Rockets," said Steve Devine, president of Johnny Rockets international division. “The timing couldn’t be better for us to enter this growth market with our unique all-American dining experience."

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Olympia Sports continues southern expansion

BY Mike Troy

Westbrook, Maine — Olympia Sports announced it has recently surpassed its 200th location and has begun a march south and west from its home state of Maine.

The company plans to open 25 stores during its current fiscal year, including its first store in West Virginia and others in states south of New York. A similar pace of expansion is expected for the following fiscal year beginning in October, said Olympia.

Most of Olympia’s 207 stores are located in the far Northeastern markets of Maine (29 stores), Massachusetts (61 stores), New York (47 stores), New Hampshire (21 stores), Vermont (11 stores), Connecticut (14 stores) and Rhode Island (five stores). However, in recent years, the company has extended its reach to Pennsylvania (14 stores), Maryland (three stores) and Virginia and West Virginia, which both have one store.

“We are excited about the opportunities that exist in this region,” said Olympia president Ed Manganello referring to areas south of the Pennsylvania border. “We are primarily a small market retailer, and our format, our people, and our strategy of bringing top brands to these small markets has gained acceptance in these areas.”

Olympia Sports operates small-format stores in small markets. It said it expects to end its current fiscal year on September 30 with a total of 216 stores following the addition of 25 new stores and the closing of four underperforming locations.

“We expect similar growth in fiscal 2013,” said Paul Fitzpatrick, senior director of operations. “We have the real estate strategy and infrastructure to support continued growth throughout the Northeast and the mid-Atlantic.”

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