The fate of the ownership of nine metro-east Shop ’n Save grocery stores was uncertain Thursday as the grocery store chain’s parent company said it will be sold in a deal worth about $2.9 billion with another company that said it intends to sell the stores.
Supervalu Inc., the Minnesota-based parent company of Shop ’n Save, will be acquired by United Natural Foods Inc., the companies said in a news release.
The deal is expected to be finalized late this year.
Shop ’n Save has two stores in Belleville and also has stores in Cahokia, Collinsville, Alton, East Alton, Granite City, Edwardsville and Wood River, according to the firm’s website.
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Rhode Island-based United Natural Foods said it intends to sell the Shop ’n Save stores “over time” in a “thoughtful and economic manner.”
A representative of Shop ’n Save could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Earlier this year, union leaders promised to protect jobs at Shop ’n Save after Supervalu had announced its plans to sell the company.
They echoed that concern on Thursday.
“It’s outrageous that the hard-working men and women at Shop ’n Save had to learn of this development on the news,” the United Food and Commercial Workers union leaders said in a statement. “We want to make it clear in the coming days we intend to fight to preserve our good union jobs, wages, and benefits won through collective bargaining for our thousands of hard-working union men and women working at Shop ’n Save.”