(Oct. 21, 2:44 p.m.) Spartan Stores Inc. has reached an agreement to buy 17 grocery stores from Fenton, Mich.-based VG’s Food Center Inc.

Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Spartan said in an Oct. 13 news release that it expects the deal, which also includes 15 pharmacies, to close in the third quarter of 2009.

The transaction is expected to increase Spartan’s retail sales by $310 million a year.

Spartan operates 84 retail stores in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. It also distributes grocery products in those three states to about 400 independent retailers. VG’s is Spartan’s largest distribution customer, Spartan said in its release.

The Grand Rapids Press reported in August that Spartan plans to relocate or build up to 10 stores during the next three years.

Meanwhile, Spartan announced Oct. 15 that president Dennis Eidson has added the title of chief executive officer. He succeeds Craig Sturken, who will remain executive chairman of the board.

Spartan Stores acquiring independent grocery chain
Spartan Stores Inc. plans to buy 17 grocery stores from VG’s Food Center Inc., Spartan's largest distribution customer.