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It was reported last week that Nicholas Markets, a four-store grocery retailer operating under the Foodtown banner, is leaving the Allegiance Retail Services cooperative to join Wakefern. Upon their conversion, the stores will be rebranded as The Fresh Grocer.

Nicholas Markets CEO David Maniaci was the longtime chairman and CEO of Allegiance until recently, but said his company was making the move to better prepare for the changing landscape in New Jersey.

The Allegiance cooperative has grown in recent years and is made up of the Gristedes and D’Agostino chains, as well as a number of small grocery stores and chains.

The Fresh Grocer currently has nine stores, eight of which are in Greater Philadelphia and one of which is in Wilmington, Delaware.

The four Nicholas Foodtown stores are known for their fresh prepared foods, and specialty departments such as cheese and catering.