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State | THE STATE / SUPERMARKETS

Hughes Stores to Take On Ralphs Name

October 30, 1998|George White

When Compton-based Ralphs Grocery Co. obtained control of Hughes Family Markets under a 1997 deal involving the merger of three supermarket chains, the company said it would convert both the name and format of the smaller Hughes chain to Ralphs. While Ralphs promptly changed the merchandise mix at Hughes--placing products with Ralphs' private labels in those stores--it put the nameplate change on hold. But now Ralphs is in the process of putting its name on all 54 Hughes stores. The change is no surprise to Tony Lucente, president of Studio City Residents' Assn., a neighborhood group that actively opposed the merging of Ralphs and Hughes. "We knew it would happen eventually," he said. Ralphs and its parent company--Portland, Ore.-based Fred Meyer Inc.--are to be acquired by Cincinnati-based Kroger Co. under a deal announced last week. The companies say there will be no name changes stemming from that acquisition.

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