Jim Hickman, president, Hickman's IGA, and Rich Niemann Jr., president & CEO, Niemann Foods Inc., an associate owned company, jointly announce the signing of a purchase agreement where NFI will acquire four Hickman's stores. The stores are located in Mexico, Vandalia, Bowling Green and Winfield.
Following a due diligence period, the transfer of ownership is expected on or before April 1.
"After 54 years of operating our stores, the time was right to review our operations in mid-Missouri. I am very proud of all our associates and the relationships we have built in the communities. NFI is a successful company and is held in the highest regard in the industry. I know that the Niemann group will be a good fit for our employees and the towns we serve," Hickman said.
NFI plans to meet with the Hickman associates this week to discuss the change in ownership. The stores will remain open and will continue to operate as IGAs during the transition.
"We are excited to expand our presence in Missouri and Jim and his team have been great to work with. We are pleased to build on the Hickman tradition of quality products and great customer service," Niemann said.
NFI will begin a major renovation of the Mexico store later this year along with remodels at the other locations. With the anticipated sales growth there is potential job growth in all four communities and the surrounding areas. Hickman will remain involved with the stores as a consultant.
The Perry and Paris Hickman's IGA stores are not part of this transaction.
Niemann Foods has expanded its presence in Missouri recently, adding an Ace Hardware and County Market in Palmyra, and adding pharmacies in Palmyra, Canton and Lewistown, all in the last three years.
Niemann Foods, founded in 1917, headquartered in Quincy, Ill. is an associate owned company providing employment to more than 5,000 associates in Illinois, Missouri and Iowa. NFI operates 100 retail locations including County Markets, Save A Lots, County Market Express and Pick A Dilly Convenience stores, Pet Supplies Plus and Ace Hardware stores.