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 MESA, Ariz., Oct. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The Mesa-based grocery chain whose success is built on budget prices has just entered the state of big spenders.
 In its biggest expansion move yet, the Megafoods (NASDAQ: MEGF) warehouse grocery chain will open 15 new stores throughout the San Antonio area on Wednesday, Oct. 27.
 The stores, which will be called "TEXANS' Warehouse Foods," will offer Texans the same winning Megafoods formula of variety and quality for the lowest prices in town.
 The opening of the 15 TEXANS' stores, which have been closed for renovation since Megafoods' August move into the market, will increase by more than 50 percent -- from 24 to 39 -- the number of stores operated by the company, which also has stores in Arizona, San Diego, and Las Vegas.
 The name "TEXANS' Warehouse Foods" emerged when Megafoods realized it needed a good, descriptive name that would stand out in its new community. San Antonio already has a "Mega Warehouse Foods" operated by a different, local company.
 "We wanted something that connoted 'mega,' and as we looked at various names we thought the only thing bigger than 'mega' was Texas and Texans," said Megafoods Founder and President, Dean Miller.
 "We also wanted to get the warehouse, low-price concept in the name," he added.
 A new logo has been designed with the new moniker emblazoned in red, white, and blue over an outline of the Lone Star state.
 Seizing the opportunity to test Texas waters, Megafoods stepped up last July when the Cincinnati-based Kroger Company announced its departure from the San Antonio market, leaving its 15 stores there available for immediate occupancy.
 The next month Megafoods began approximately $9 million in renovation to convert the stores into its signature warehouse format.
 "The move into the former San Antonio Kroger stores is in line with our overall growth strategy and provides us immediate critical mass in this area of the Texas market," said Miller.
 He added that the stores have hired approximately 1,700 Texas residents, some of them former Kroger employees.
 "Texan's-size Selection, Texans'-size Savings," goes the motto for the new stores. In spite of warehouse club prices, Texans' Warehouses will charge no membership fee.
 It is this combination of the best of both worlds -- quality market and budget warehouse -- that is the key behind the Megafoods Stores' success. Since the first store opened in Mesa in 1987, the company's growth has been fast and furious, despite a flagging economy and fierce competition.
 Two months after the first Megafoods store opened on a strip mall by a Mesa freeway, a second opened on the other end of town. A third followed closely on its heels until 10 stores had been opened in three short years at a time when several chains at once -- including other newcomers Smith's and Albertson's -- were vying for market share.
 Today, Megafoods Stores Inc. has emerged a dark horse victor in the Arizona supermarket wars, owning a total of 17 stores statewide, as well as four in Southern California and three in Las Vegas. It is the largest warehouse grocery chain in Arizona.
 With an annual growth rate of 57 percent during the past five years, and recorded sales of $323.1 million during 1992, Megafoods has been listed as the 77th fastest-growing company in America by Fortune Magazine.
 "If you look at our track record since we started in 1987," said Vice President Dan Dexter, "each year thereafter we've almost doubled in size."
 And the growth spurt hasn't stopped, Megafoods Stores Inc. is constantly busy with research and development, investigating further opportunities to secure its market share in Texas and throughout the entire Southwest.
 "We're making a tremendous commitment of capital and resources," said Miller of the TEXANS' opening, "and we will grow and prosper as we provide value to the community. We're very excited about this new drive forward."
 -0- 10/11/93
 /CONTACT: Louisa Benton, 602-967-8714, for Megafoods/

CO: Megafoods Stores Inc. ST: Arizona, Texas IN: REA SU:

JB-NY -- LA026 -- 0845 10/11/93 18:46 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 11, 1993

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