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2011-03-31

Super S chain purchased by west Texas grocer

By Carolyn B. Edwards BCC Staff Writer

Local Super S store managers got the word from their headquarters last Thursday, March 24, that the financially troubled grocery chain has been sold to Lowe's food stores for an undisclosed price.
Super S Foods is a family-owned supermarket business with stores throughout south and central Texas, from McCamey in west Texas, to Freeport on the east Texas coast, and south to Zapata. Their 55 stores employ 2000 people.
One local shopper said he had experienced a Lowe's buy-out of another grocery chain in the Lubbock area. "It was a good thing. Prices went down."
Headquartered in Littlefield in the Texas Panhandle, Lowe's has stores across northwest Texas and into New Mexico and Arizona, ranging from Iowa Park on the Oklahoma border to Gallup. The merger will make Lowe's one of the premier grocery purveyors in small to medium sized towns across Texas and New Mexico.
The Lowe's chain began with EM "Bud" Lowe selling candy and sundries from his truck out of Littlefield in the 1940s.
In 1964, Bud and his son, Roger, purchased their first store in Olton, Texas. Prior to the Super S purchase, Lowe's had expanded to 90 stores.
According to the Lowe's website, "The entire Lowe's family is involved and dedicated to ensuring the success of Lowe's. Roger Lowe Sr. serves as President-Chairman of the Board; Yvette Lowe, Roger Lowe's wife serves as Vice-President; their son, Roger Jr. serves as VP-CEO and their daughter, Lezlie, serves as VP-General Counsel respectively."
The Lowe's grocery chain is not related to the Lowe's home improvement conglomerate, which is a Fortune 500 company operating throughout North America.
According to Bandera County tax records, the Super S Foods property at 907 Main Street was valued in 2010 at $1.089 million for the land and improvements. Personal property valuation was $600,810. Since 2001, the local store showed an increase in value of its property. The land and improvements were valued at $1 million in 2001. Ten years ago, personal property, which includes furniture, fixtures, inventory and supplies, was valued at $393,510.
According to a press release issued Monday, March 28, Lowe\'s will retain all teammates at each Super S Foods location. \"Customers will begin to see a transformation of products and expansion of departments within the next three or four weeks,\" said Roger Lowe Jr.
Store hours will remain unchanged and stores will be open seven days a week.
With this acquisition, Lowe\'s now operates 145 stores in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona with over 3,300 \"teammates.\"
The Lowe\'s company, continued the press release, \"strive[s] to give their teammates the opportunity to grow personally, have good means for providing for themselves and their families, as well as provide a rewarding career path.\"

Pictured:
Photo by Carolyn B. Edwards

The Bandera Super S food store will be undergoing changes in the months to come, following a buy-out of the Super S chain by Lowe's, a West Texas community grocery store chain.