GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Spartan Stores, Inc. has agreed to purchase 20 retail stores and a commissary from privately owned D&W Food Centers, Inc. in an acquisition that is expected to increase sales at Spartan Stores’ retail segment by about $200 million a year.

“This transaction will significantly strengthen our competitive retail market position by expanding our services to certain communities and trade areas not currently served by our existing store base,” Craig C. Sturken, chairman, president and chief executive of Spartan Stores, said in a statement announcing the acquisition. “Our distribution customers, associates and the communities where we operate will all benefit from the economies of scale created from this transaction.”

The cost of the acquisition, which is expected to be completed in the late winter or early spring once due diligence is completed, was not disclosed.

Jeanne Norcross, spokeswoman for Grand Rapids, MI-based Spartan, tells GSR that the purchase includes 20 retail stores and a commissary owned by D&W, which also is located in Grand Rapids. As part of that acquisition agreement, Norcross says the buyer implemented a hiring freeze at D&W to give the new owners time to assess its employment needs.

“Our hope is that we can retain employees and jobs in western Michigan,” Norcross says. D&W currently employs about 2,200 associates.

An official with the family owned D&W grocery chain declined to comment on the sale when reached by GSR. The 20-store chain has been in operation since 1943.

Spartan Stores is the nation’s 10th largest grocery distributor with warehouse facilities in Grand Rapids and Plymouth, MI. The company distributes more than 40,000 private-label and national brand products to more than 350 independent grocery stores in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. In addition, the company also owns and operates 54 retail supermarkets and 19 deep-discount food and drug stores in Michigan and Ohio, including Family Fare Supermarkets, Glen’s Markets, and The Pharm.

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