The Board of Managers of Allegiance Retail Services (ARS), LLC and the Board of Directors of Foodtown, Inc. have named Daniel Katz as its new chairman and chief executive officer. Katz, who is co-president and chief executive at PSK Operating LLC, the family-owned independent retailing organization that operates 13 supermarkets in the Metro New York market under the Foodtown, Freshtown and Pathmark banners, was named to his new position after former chairman and CEO David Maniaci announced that his company, Nicholas Markets, would be leaving the Iselin, NJ-based co-op to join the larger Wakefern Food Corp. cooperative.

“In the last 10 years, Allegiance, Foodtown and its other banners have seen tremendous growth increasing from 70 stores to over 110 stores today, and we will remain in a very strong position to continue to grow into the future,” Katz stated.

Wakefern and Maniaci confirmed the addition of Nicholas Markets to its organization whose member/owners operate under the ShopRite, Price Rite Market Place, Fresh Grocer, Gourmet Garage and Dearborn Market banners. The retailer, based in Woodland Park, NJ, becomes the 51st family to join its cooperative.

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The perishables-driven merchant currently operates four stores in the Garden State: North Haledon, Cedar Grove, Colonia and the Township of Washington, NJ.

Upon their conversion, the stores will be rebranded as The Fresh Grocer, a Wakefern trademark. Currently there are nine Fresh Grocer units operated by two Wakefern members – Pat Burns (seven stores) and Jeff Brown (two stores). The Fresh Grocer stores are all currently located in the Philadelphia area with the exception of a lone unit in Wilmington, DE.

Nicholas Markets was founded in 1943 by Rocco and Nicholas Maniaci, grandfather and father of David Maniaci, current president and CEO. For most of that time, the stores traded under the Foodtown banner.

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“The competitive landscape in New Jersey has grown fierce in recent years,” said Maniaci. “I believe Wakefern’s deep roots in the state will help me navigate this and other challenges facing the supermarket industry.”

“I leave the Foodtown cooperative at a time when it is strong and thriving,” added Maniaci. “It has seen significant growth to its membership base and store count over the past decade.”

“We are excited to welcome another member into our Wakefern family,” stated Joseph Colalillo, Wakefern’s chairman and CEO, who operates five high volume ShopRite stores in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  “Nicholas Markets is a strong addition to our cooperative.  David and his associates are deeply committed to serving their communities and providing exceptional quality and fresh prepared foods to their customers.”

“Adding Nicholas Markets stores to The Fresh Grocer banner strengthens Wakefern’s competitive position in northern New Jersey,” said Joe Sheridan, Wakefern president and COO. “Membership in our cooperative allows independent operators to maintain their entrepreneurial spirit while benefiting from the scale and services Wakefern offers.  We look forward to welcoming the Maniaci family to Wakefern.”