The company that operates Hannaford has agreed to merge with a rival grocery store chain.

Hannaford is owned by European grocer Delhaize Group, who also operates Food Lion. That company is being purchased by rival European grocery store conglomerate Royal Ahold NV which owns the grocery store chains Stop & Shop, which has locations in the Hudson Valley and New York City area as well as Giant which operates in Binghamton and Pennsylvania.

According to the Boston Globe, the individual store branding, such as Hannaford, won't be changing.

The Stop & Shop and Hannaford chains will continue to operate as separate brands, said Dick Boer, the current chief executive of Ahold who will lead the merged organization.

“They are strong local brands,” Boer said Wednesday. “There’s no way that you’re going to change that.”

The reason behind the merger, according the Wall Street Journal, was to better position the mid-range grocery store chains such as Hannaford which get squeezed between low-cost retailers and high-end grocers like Whole Foods. Price Chopper, for instance, recently announced they would be re-branding as Market 32.

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