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Ames to Stop & Shop

Supermarket chain acquires the rights to 18 of defunct retailer's stores

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The Stop & Shop Supermarket Co. (Quincy, Mass.) has secured the U.S. Bankruptcy Court's approval to proceed with a lease designation agreement reached with the now-liquidated Ames Department Stores (Rocky Hill, Conn.).

According to the agreement, Stop & Shop acquires the designation rights to 18 former Ames leases for $20 million. The leases included in the agreement relate to former Ames stores in various New England states and one former Ames store in Virginia. “We expect that many, but not all, of the properties will become new Stop & Shop stores,” said a Stop & Shop spokesperson.

Ames, a mass-merchant that couldn't compete with the incursions of competitors such as Wal-Mart and Target, filed for bankruptcy protection in August 2001. A year later, it announced that it would liquidate its assets and close its 327 stores.

Stop & Shop is New England's largest supermarket chain, with about 320 outlets in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island. Its superstores have gone beyond simply groceries, and now include such specialty departments as florist shops, bakeries, pharmacies and delicatessens. It is owned by Ahold USA Inc. (Chantilly, Va.), the domestic division of Netherlands-based Royal Ahold, one of the world's largest food retailers.

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