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St Vincent’s sells to Geson

THE St Vincent de Paul Society has sold four of its low-cost food outlets to a Perth-based operator for an undisclosed sum. The offer came last month from Gesons Pty Ltd, trading as Ideal Cash and Carry, for the purchase of four outlets in Mandurah, Fremantle, Beechboro and Merriwa. The new acquisitions bring Gesons’ total number of stores to five, including an existing store in Malaga. St Vincent de Paul’s senior vice president Brian Ball said Gesons approached the society and made an offer to purchase all four stores, including stock, with an agreement to adopt existing leases. St Vincent’s accepted the initial offer from Gesons, having rejected a lower bid from a third party to purchase one or possibly two of the stores. Mr Ball said the increasing cost of food and competition from supermarkets, such as IGA, were catalysts for the sale. “We’re very pleased that the group is taking the stores over,” Mr Ball said. “People were coming in and looking for specials, but not doing a big shop. It was uneconomical. “Our remaining 43 stores will stay open. They are a very significant part of our income, as we’re not government funded. “The bottom line remains that we will continue to help people in need.” The sale signifies the closure of all of the St Vincent de Paul food outlets, scheduled to close by December regardless, with an Armadale store already closing due to insufficient revenue. There is another store in Manjimup, operating as a community store, which is not administered by St Vincent’s and will continue to operate as normal. Gesons will continue to operate the stores as low-cost food outlets, under the name Ideal Cash and Carry. The company will continue to employ some of St Vincent de Paul staff.

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