Federated Department Stores said Tuesday that it has agreed to buy 14 Zodys stores in Southern California and reopen them this fall as Ralphs supermarkets.
Terms of the purchases, from a real estate partnership controlled by HRT Industries, Zodys' parent, were not disclosed. The deal will be effective May 1, according to Federated.
Al Marasca, executive vice president of marketing for Compton-based Ralphs, said that, for competitive reasons, the company would not disclose the locations of the stores.
'Different Concept' for Stores
However, retailing sources indicated two weeks ago that Ralphs was interested in properties in Redondo Beach, Long Beach, Canoga Park, West Covina, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Norwalk, Inglewood, Lynwood, Pomona, Torrance, Boyle Heights and Hollywood. Ralphs now has 127 stores, all in Southern California.
In a statement, Byron Allumbaugh, chairman and chief executive of Ralphs, said the remodeled stores will combine warehouse-style displays of packaged goods with produce, bakery, deli and seafood departments. "This will be a different concept from the usual Ralphs," Marasca added.
HRT has alerted unions representing its 2,400 employees that it plans to close the 32-store Zodys chain of discount department stores, with shutdowns expected to begin March 3 and continue for several months.