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WEST BRIDEWATER, MA-Shaw’s Supermarkets Inc. is acquiring the rights to 18 leases of the former Ames Department Stores for $48.5 million. The locations are spread throughout the New England area.

The news comes on the heels of the locally based supermarket chain’s recent unveiling of its three-year $43-million plan to replace or build new stores in the region as well as a $400-million plan to renovate all of its 187 existing stores. Bernard Rogan, spokesperson for the company, tells GlobeSt.com that it is “yet to be determined” what will be done with the new locations. He notes that some of the stores are in “ideal locations” for Shaw’s, while some are right near existing stores.

According to local published reports, the Ames leases are for seven stores in Massachusetts as well as stores in Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. Ames went out of business this past summer.

Prior to this deal, Shaw’s purchased two former Ames leases in Falmouth, ME and in Sanford, ME. In Famlouth, the new location is right near an existing Shaw’s and Rogan says that the company will continue to operate that store while it tears down the other building to build a new 70,000-sf supermarket.

Competition among the region’s grocery stores companies is heating up with Big Y, a Springfield, MA-based chain, aiming to penetrate the Greater Boston market, and Stop & Shop, which is based in Quincy, MA, opening a number of new stores in the area.

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