Heritage Grocers Group, the parent of Cardenas Markets and Tony’s Fresh Markets, has acquired another Hispanic grocery chain.
The grocer confirmed on Wednesday that it has completed the acquisition of Garland, Texas-based El Rancho Supermercado, which has 27 stores in Texas and one in Kansas.
El Rancho will remain headquartered in Texas and will continue to operate as its own banner within the Ontario, California-based Heritage Grocers company.
Details of the transaction were not disclosed.
“The acquisition of El Rancho Supermercado aligns with our growth strategy and will make a great addition to the Heritage Grocers Group portfolio of companies,” Marisa Kutansky, director of communications for the grocery group, said in an email to WGB. “The team at El Rancho Supermercado has built a strong brand and long-standing relationship with its customers, and by leveraging our collective strengths, El Rancho Supermercado can deliver even greater value to its loyal customers across Texas and Kansas.”
In 2017, Albertsons Co. acquired an equity stake in El Rancho Supermercado to help fuel the grocer’s growth. At that time, El Rancho operated 16 stores in Texas.
With the acquisition, Heritage will now have a total of 113 stores, including 57 Cardenas Markets locations, 21 Tony’s Fresh Market stores and seven Los Altos Ranch Market locations.
Cardenas Markets was acquired by Apollo Funds, the owner of Tony’s Fresh Market, a year ago. Cardenas had been family owned until it was purchased by global investment firm KKR in 2016.
The grocer has been boosting its executive ranks in the months since, promoting Eric Stover to CEO of Cardenas Markets in March and naming Darren Karst as CFO of Heritage Grocers in April. In February, Ted Frumkin was added as SVP of store development.
Specialty grocers, including El Rancho Supermercado, are outpacing other grocers in visits over the last year, according to data released by foot traffic analytics firm Placer.ai earlier this month.
Monthly visits to leading grocers fell from May 2022 to this April, while visits to El Rancho remained up 7.3% in April. About 44.7% of the households in El Rancho’s trade areas are Hispanic, far outpacing the 18.1% share of Hispanic households nationwide, Placer.ai found.
“As the wider grocery sector continues to feel the impact of inflation and tighter consumer budgets, specialty grocers—and especially grocers catering to Hispanic audiences—are thriving,” the report found.