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Harps Food Stores Acquires Seven Stores In Louisiana, Mississippi

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Springdale, Arkansas-based Harps Food Stores has entered into an agreement to acquire The Markets, an independent grocery retailer with seven locations across central Louisiana and southwestern Mississippi. 

The locations are in Ball, Ferriday and Vidalia, Louisiana, as well as three locations in Natchez, Mississippi, and a location in McComb, Mississippi. 

Last week, Barry Loy, president of The Markets, and his brother Jeff Loy, VP and treasurer, informed employees that its store banners, employment and operations across the area will continue with minimal change or interruption. While the timing of the transaction has not been finalized, both parties anticipate completing it by the end of 2022. 

“Supermarket Operations Inc. and the Loy family are pleased to announce the acquisition of The Markets supermarkets by Harps Foods Stores,” Loy said.

“We are proud of our Markets Family of more than 350 team members and the communities we serve in seven stores in central Louisiana and southwest Mississippi. We are excited for the new possibilities for growth and success that Harps can bring to our stores. We wish Harps and the Markets team members many years of success.” 

Family-owned and -operated, Supermarket Operations was founded by Harley Loy in 1969. The chain provides customers with a shopping experience in a clean, friendly environment plus offering fresh, quality products and great local variety. He raised his family to have those same goals and objectives. Fifty-three years later, his sons Barry and Jeff believe that the company has fulfilled all the dreams and wishes that their father had many years ago.

“We are excited to enter into these new markets for Harps in Louisiana and Mississippi,” said Kim Eskew, chairman and CEO. “The Market stores have served these communities with excellence for many years and we are thrilled to add them to the Harps family.”

In this transaction, The Food Partners served as strategic and financial advisor to Supermarket Operations, d.b.a. The Markets.

Harps is a 100 percent employee-owned company, which operates 135 stores in four states, including Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas. Harps is the largest employee-owned company in the state of Arkansas and was founded by Harvard and Floy Harp in Springdale, Arkansas in 1930. Since then, the company has grown to employ more than 6,800 employees.  

For more information about Harps Food Stores and company history, visit harpsfood.com.

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