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WDAY: The News Leader

Published January 13, 2014, 10:40 AM

Big changes in works for area Sunmarts

WEST FARGO – Big changes are coming to Sunmart stores in the Fargo-Moorhead area.

By: Dave Olson, Forum News Service, INFORUM, Forum News Service

WEST FARGO – Big changes are coming to Sunmart stores in the Fargo-Moorhead area.

That’s according to West Fargo City Administrator Jim Brownlee, who got a heads-up on the changes from a local Sunmart official during a recent City Commission meeting.

Sunmart has four stores in the area, one in West Fargo, one in Moorhead and two in Fargo, according to the company’s website.

Sunmart officials are scouting for a second West Fargo location, Brownlee said. Sunmart also let city officials know it is looking to rebrand and remodel all of its area stores as part of a multimillion-dollar revamping.

The changes were hinted at during a recent City Commission meeting when a Sunmart official spoke in support of the company’s request for a liquor license to operate a liquor store in its current West Fargo store at 1100 13th Ave. E.

Brownlee said a business has been operating a liquor store in that location under a lease arrangement, but Sunmart is now claiming the space and needs its own liquor license, which the city has approved.

Local Sunmart officials declined to talk about the company’s plans, referring questions to someone with SpartanNash in Edina, Minn.

The company responded to requests for comment by stating it is not ready to share details of its plans.

SpartanNash, which operates Sunmart stores and several other brands, was formed last year after Michigan-based Spartan Stores purchased a majority of the shares of Edina-based Nash Finch, owner of the Sunmart brand.

SpartanNash is making its headquarters in the Grand Rapids, Mich., area while maintaining a support center in the Twin Cities.

Brownlee said he isn’t sure what name the area Sunmart stores will use.

Before the merger with Spartan Stores, Nash Finch operated 75 stores under various names, including Sunmart, Econofoods and Family Fresh Market.

Spartan Stores operated 102 stores under various banners, including D&W Fresh Market and Family Fare Supermarkets.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555

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