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Local Harveys Supermarkets to become Food World
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Nothing creates a buzz in Statesboro like grocery store talk.  

As the community continues to grow and become more diverse, so does residents’ desire for more grocery options.  

On Tuesday, there was movement again in the local grocery store market.

Delhaize Group announced that it has sold three Harveys Supermarket stores in Georgia to HAC Inc., an employee-owned regional supermarket chain based in Oklahoma. HAC acquired the two Harveys stores in Statesboro and one in Vidalia. The stores will be renamed Food World, with the transition taking place on May 4.

This transition leads to questions. Chief among them might be, “What exactly is a Food World?”

It is similar in concept to Harveys. Christina Pfenninger, a marketing research specialist for HAC, said in an email Tuesday afternoon that store personnel will remain the same, with no jobs being taken away or added. Both stores will remain open and will continue to operate as they are today. Store associates will work for Delhaize until the transition date.

HAC  intends to make the necessary changes from Harveys to Food World overnight so there will be little interruption in the operations of the stores. It is possible that the stores might close early one evening and open late the next morning, “but the vast majority of customers would not be affected by this,” Pfenninger said.

Other than the name change, she added, customers should not experience any notable differences.

Darryl Fitzgerald, the company’s CEO, offered this explanation of the concept and reassurance to current Harveys employees.

“The Harveys locations are full of dedicated, long-term associates, and we plan to provide them with the tools they need to continue to serve their guests with outstanding service,” he said in a Tuesday news release announcing the acquisition of the Harveys stores. “Our focus will be on fresh, quality products, friendly service, with a strong commitment to the local community.”

HAC currently operates 82 stores under seven banners – Piggly Wiggly, Food World, Homeland, United Supermarkets, Country Mart, Super Save and Super Plaza – in five states: Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

Christy Phillips-Brown, Delhaize America’s director of external and community relations, added this message to Harveys employees.

“As we complete the transition process, we share our deepest appreciation for our associates’ many contributions and service to our customers during their tenure with our company,” she said in an email.

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