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    Houchens Completes Purchase of Buehler Foods

    The deal adds 22 grocery stores and fuel stations in three states.

    BOWLING GREEN, Ky. -- Houchens Industries, operator of retail grocery and convenience stores headquartered here, completed its previously announced acquisition of Buehlers Foods, an operator of 22 retail grocery stores and fuel stations in Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois, the Evansville Courier & Press reported.

    Buehler's Buy-Low grocery stores will continue to operate under that name, and store associates remain employed by the company, which will remain headquartered in Jasper, Ind., according to the report.

    "Generally, all associates" remain with Buehlers, spokesman Craig Knies told the paper. "For the stores, [there is] really no change."

    While store operations will be evaluated in the future, "Right now we don’t anticipate change," he added.

    Houchens said in a statement cited by the company that Buehler has "a prominent market share position in several of the markets that they service."

    Progressive Grocer, sister publication to Convenience Store News reported in late April that pressure from competitors was the reason why Buehler opted to sell.

    "With the continuing pressures in the retail marketplace, our ongoing need for growth and expansion, and the future of our 1,500-plus associates, a merger with Houchens Industries provides a unique opportunity for our company," company president Kris Buehler Massat said in a news release cited by Progressive Grocer.

    Houchens also owns Food Giant, which operates Sureway, Piggly Wiggly and other grocery brands.

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