Baltimore retail chain
looks for potential suitors
By David Mitchell, Senior
Mars Supermarkets Inc., Glen Burie, Md., is on the
auction block, according toan area retail consultant.
Diamond of The Diamond Group, Baltimore, Md., said the
Brussels,Belgium-based Delhaize Group and Eden Prairie, Minn.-based
Supervalu Inc.might be potential suitors for the 18-store
Diamond said the D'Anna family, which owns Mars, has
been using an outsidemanagement firm to run the chain since its
founding members died a decade ago.
Diamond said Supervalu is
No. 3 in market share in the Baltimore andWashington, D.C., markets
with 60 Shoppers Food and Pharmacy stores. He saidacquiring Mars
would boost Shoppers past No. 2 Safeway in those
Delhaize's Food Lion Stores Inc., Salisbury, N.C.,
recently entered the marketwith Food Lion, Bloom and Bottom Dollar
The Fresh Market, Greensboro, N.C., also has entered
the market recently.Diamond said some of Mars' smaller stores,
former Pantry Pride locations,would be a good fit for that
Diamond said a sale likely would include Mars'
300,000-square-foot warehouseand 17 of the chain's 18 stores. One
location is expected to be taken over byBentonville, Ark.-based
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., he said.