Super One parent company buys Paulsons’ Super Valu chainFour Northland grocery stores, including one in Pike Lake, are operating under new management this month after Hermantown-based Miner’s Inc. — owners of Super One stores — acquired the Paulsons’ Super Valu chain.
By: Andrew Krueger, Duluth News Tribune
Four Northland grocery stores, including one in Pike Lake, are operating under new management this month after Hermantown-based Miner’s Inc. — owners of Super One stores — acquired the Paulsons’ Super Valu chain.
The deal, which closed April 30 and was announced Friday, includes Paulsons’ Super Valu in Pike Lake, as well as Super Valu stores in International Falls and Crosby, Minn., and County Market in Ashland. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
“We had looked at the Paulsons’ group as a good fit for Miner’s,” said Bob Halvorson, vice president of operations for Miner’s. “It fits logistically, transportation-wise. It kind of connects the dots.”
For example, he said, the Ashland store is on the transportation route between the Twin Ports and Miner’s stores in Hurley, Park Falls and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
With the acquisition, Miner’s — a fourth-generation, family-owned business — now operates 33 grocery stores and two liquor stores across four states. At the time of the sale, the Paulsons’ stores had about 200 employees and Miner’s about 2,400.
Halvorson said the Pike Lake, Crosby and Ashland stores will be rebranded as Super One stores. The International Falls location will become a County Market.
While the Pike Lake store is smaller than many of Miner’s Super One locations, Halvorson said the chain is “excited about making that a new neighborhood market.” He noted that the Pike Lake store is about 25,000 square feet, compared to 14,000 square feet for Miner’s recently renovated Woodland Marketplace Foods in Duluth.
Renovations for all four of the Paulsons’ stores are still being discussed.
“We’re in the process of working on the plans, what we can do, what makes sense, what we have,” Halvorson said.
In the meantime, Halvorson said customers of the former Paulsons’ stores can expect to see many new items in stock, as well as lower prices on many items as efficiencies of the larger Miner’s chain are put into place.
The sale marks the end of 100 years in the grocery business for the Paulsons’ Super Valu chain. Bob Paulson, who had been president of company at the time of the sale, said his grandfather and great-aunt started the business in Duluth in about 1912.
Bob Paulson, who owned the chain with his brother, Gary, said Miner’s approached them last year to discuss acquiring the stores.
“I have a good feeling about it,” Paulson said. “It’s good for us, good for employees. I think Miner’s is a good company. If someone had to buy (the stores), it’s a local company, family-owned.”
The purchase of the Paulsons’ Super Valu chain is Miner’s largest acquisition since 2006, when it acquired seven Jubilee and Festival Foods stores — five in the Twin Ports, and one each in Virginia and Walker, Minn. In the years since, it also has acquired stores in Wadena, Minn., and Hurley and Park Falls, Wis.
Halvorson said employees and customers of the Paulsons’ stores have been welcoming in the days since Miner’s took over.
“It’s been very encouraging,” Halvorson said. “They’ve welcomed the fact that there’s a new operator that’s going to bring fresh life into the stores and take them forward from here.”