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ISELIN, NJ -- Bill Donahoe, president and chief operating officer of Foodtown Inc., announced at the end of July the formation of Allegiance Retail Services LLC. This new company will function like a co-op by providing retail services to current members of Foodtown as well as various independent retailers seeking the benefits of co-op membership while retaining the ability to operate under their existing banners.

"We felt that the time was right to make this exciting transformation," Mr. Donahoe said in a July 29 press release. "We realized we had new opportunities with successful independent retailers who have developed their own brand identities, and could benefit from our flexible retail services platform."

Members of Allegiance are given access to the products and services they need to successfully compete in today's marketplace. Allegiance provides members with the advantages of collective buying power; store operations/field merchandisers; advertising and marketing services; IT and point-of-sale support; more than 1,100 "Foodtown" brand products; direct store delivery file support; loyalty, gift card and payment card processing services; and access to the latest tools and technology.

"With Allegiance, we now have the opportunity to obtain greater sales and profits by leveraging our value proposition to various independent banners," Mr. Donahoe said in the release.

David Maniaci, chairman and chief executive officer of Allegiance, said in the release, "Our number-one goal is to support the best supermarket entrepreneurs in the business. We talked about creating a new company that supports the various types of retailers that are in the marketplace today. We have accomplished this with the creation of Allegiance Retail Services LLC. 'Independent Together' is our motto, and all of the professional staff at the Allegiance co-op [have] the skill sets and experience to support the independent better than anyone in the business."

In a separate release, Allegiance announced in early August that D'Agostino Supermarkets in Larchmont, NY, has joined the newly formed company.

"We are very proud and excited that D'Agostino has joined Allegiance Retail Services LLC. It solidifies that the value proposition and expertise we offer was recognized by a highly regarded independent retailer in our core market," Mr. Donahoe said in an Aug. 11 release, noting that the transition will take place over the next few months.

"D'Agostino Supermarkets is excited about joining Allegiance," Nick D'Agostino III, president and CEO, said in the release. "We were previously members of the cooperative organization for many years and now are very excited about renewing our relationship with the great operators at Allegiance. We feel it is like going back home. We look forward to being able to better serve our customers because of this relationship."

D'Agostino currently operates 15 stores in the metropolitan New York area, primarily in Manhattan.

"Nick D'Agostino is one of the top supermarket entrepreneurs in the business," Allegiance Chairman and CEO David Maniaci, said in the release. "On behalf of the board of directors, his decision to join Allegiance is welcomed with open arms."