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Niemann Foods, Inc. and Hickman’s IGA associates continued work on the swap of four area Hickman’s IGA stores to the County Market name.
With the ownership change expected by early April, the associates held a recent brainstorming session for NFI to further explore its four new locations. NFI expects a growth in sales after the eventual transition, as well as lower prices, according to the company’s consumer affairs director. However, current IGA associates are not guaranteed a job once the switch is complete.
“(The meeting) was basically an opportunity for us to meet them and for them to meet us,” Gerry Kettler, director of community affairs, said. “It was an opportunity to explore ideas and get to know each other.”
Kettler said all four Hickman’s IGAs in the agreement — the Mexico, Winfield, Vandalia, and Bowling Green locations — will switch to the County Market name. He said the name change will be made on the day ownership is transferred, though, the NFI product line transition will be gradual.
Kettler said once the names have changed, NFI will start to transition into what people typically associate with the County Market name. He said at that time customers will see familiar faces.
“All of the stores will under go a minor remodeling relatively soon,” Kettler said.
He said renovations may be as minor as updated signage or the inclusion of County Market’s signature products, adding the deli and bakery sections of the stores will be greatly expanded.
Read more in The Vandalia Leader’s March 6 print edition.