Whole Foods Acquires Leases Of Johnnie’s Foodmaster

CHELSEA, Mass. (AP) — A small family-owned Massachusetts grocery store chain has agreed to sell the leases to six of its 10 locations to natural and organic supermarket Whole Foods Market Inc.

Chelsea-based Johnnie’s Foodmaster says it will close the stores prior to the expected Nov. 30 close of the transaction.

Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods said Friday it intends to remodel the stores in Weymouth, Arlington, Charlestown, Brookline, Melrose and Somerville and reopen them before the end of its 2013 fiscal year.

Terms of the agreement are not being disclosed, but Whole Foods has guaranteed interviews to all Johnnie’s Foodmaster employees and plans to hire as many as possible.

Johnnie’s President John DeJesus said the opportunity to sell to a company like Whole Foods made a tough decision much easier.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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