If you’re a fan of Richmond-based Ukrop’s, you may want to start stocking up on the store’s signature White House Rolls and Rainbow Cookies. Grocery industry publication “Food World” reports the company is putting its 28 stores up for sale. The company has reportedly circulated a prospectus giving company information to potential buyers. One of our […]
If you’re a fan of Richmond-based Ukrop’s, you may want to start stocking up on the store’s signature White House Rolls and Rainbow Cookies. Grocery industry publication “Food World” reports the company is putting its 28 stores up for sale. The company has reportedly circulated a prospectus giving company information to potential buyers.
One of our readers, Richmond resident Tom Whitt, sent us an interesting scoop. Whitt claims he spoke with a source from Harris Teeter in North Carolina who all but confirmed that the chain has applied for 29 alcohol licenses from the Virginia ABC Board in the Richmond area, as rumors have run rampant claiming licenses were taken out. Keep in mind that for the time being, this cannot be confirmed nor denied. We called the Virginia ABC Board and were told that there were no pending licenses in the Richmond area for Harris Teeter, but to check back as records are updated frequently.
From “Food World:”
Of course, there is no guarantee that any bidder would pay the premium price that acquiring Ukrop’s would likely demand. And even if that price were met, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the deal be pulled by the Ukrop family which has a deep emotional attachment to the community and to the company itself, which was founded when Joe and Jacquelin Ukrop opened their first grocery store on Hull Street in Richmond in 1937.
While newer competition may have been able to match Ukrop’s beautiful stores and perishables-driven format, a key differential which has also adversely impacted the company is its policy of not opening on Sundays, now the busiest shopping day of the week. Ukrop’s also does not sell beer or wine at its stores. Additionally, two of Ukrop’s newer stores outside the core Richmond market – Roanoke and its second unit in Williamsburg – have struggled, with the Williamsburg unit closing last year.
Trade observers speculate that the timing may be right to consider a sale, given that CEO Bobby Ukrop is 62 years old and his older brother, Jim, who was CEO of t he company for 24 years and until recently served as chairman, is 71 years old. For the past 10 years, Jim Ukrop has devoted most of his time into First Market Bank, a venture created in 1997. Today First Market has 40 branches (26 inside Ukrop’s units) and earlier this year the company was merged into Union Bankshares, another large Virginia based bank where Jim Ukrop remains a director.
We’ll have much more on this story as we learn more. What do you think about the Ukrop family selling and the potential impact on the Richmond area? Weigh in below with your comments!