Arkansas based company to purchase The Markets, continue on community grocer reputation – Daily Leader

The Arkansas-based company continues to build on its reputation as a community vendor by purchasing The Markets

Published 17:02 Monday, October 24, 2022

SPRINGDALE, Ar – Harps Food Stores, the largest employee-owned company in Arkansas and headquartered in Springdale, announced it has entered into an acquisition agreement with local grocery chain Miss-Lou’s The Markets. Harps Food Store CEO and President Kim Eskew made the announcement in a press release Monday afternoon.

In the statement, it was said that the time of this transaction has not ended, but both sides anticipate that it will be completed by the end of 2022.

“We are excited to enter these new Harps markets in Louisiana and Mississippi,” Eskew said. “The Market Shops have served these communities for many years, and we are excited to add them to the Harps family.”

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Barry Loy, president of The Markets, said in the release that its store banners, operations and store operations will continue with minimal changes.

Harps has a story with the Loy family. Family owned and operated, the company started in 1930 and has since expanded to 135 stores under the Harps name.

The Markets includes seven stores with three in Louisiana, one in Ball, Ferriday and Vidalia in addition to four in Mississippi, three in Natchez and one in McComb. It has been owned by the Loy family since 1969 until Harps bought The Markets.

Barry said he and his brother Jeff Loy, vice president, have been involved in the grocery store business their entire lives. Natchez is their home, so the choice to sell to another company was difficult, he said.

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Since 2001, Harps has been and continues to be staff owned.

“It’s hard to let go of what you’ve made. Harps is an amazing company, and we decided to sell to them because we think they’re going to take things to the next level,” said Barry. “No one has made us feel as comfortable as they have. We think it will be good for our team. They can grow. They have employees who are good for our employees. Their values ​​are aligned with ours and they are so similar to us. They are doing a good job and are in a position to grow.”

For the past 47 years, Barry has worked in retail and contributed to the community. He will continue in the community but plans to take time to upgrade and retire. Food is a demanding business but they are celebrated beyond measure.

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Most importantly, Loys could not have done this without the hundreds of people who have worked with the company over the years. That same community involvement is why he found it easier to move the business to Harps.

“They’re going to do a good job of taking care of our community,” he said. “We rebranded 25 to 30 years ago and named every community we’re in. All our employees and customers know this is our hometown. We believe in giving back and we’ve been good partners. We really We thank Miss-Lou for their support. We thank them for choosing us. We believe that Harps will continue to build on our reputation.”

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