Bain Capital in talks to buy Harris Teeter and rename it “Mitt’s Middle Class Market?”

Really?

That is one (highly) speculative outcome, according to local news stations and the Wall Street Journal. Apparently two more private-equity firms have surfaced as possible suitors for Harris Teeter Supermarkets Inc (NYSE:HTSI).

Cerberus Capital Management LP is considering a number of grocery chains for potential bids, including Harris Teeter, according to the report, which also claims private-equity firm Bain Capital is potentially interested in the Matthews-based grocery chain. Harris Teeter has so far declined to comment, referring only to its earlier statement acknowledging it is considering a possible sale.

To date, the list of possible buyers has included rivals such as Dutch retailer Royal Ahold NV, owner of Stop & Shop stores, as well as Kroger Co. and Publix Supermarkets Inc.

Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix has said previously speculation about its interest in Harris Teeter is just a rumor. However, it has also said it is “aggressively looking to expand in the North Carolina market.” Plus, a myriad of Publix outdoor has sprouted acoss the inner Charlotte landscape of late.

Given the fact that roughly half the staff of our shopper marketing agency lives in the Plaza Midwood neighborhood, we don’t really care who buys what as long as the new 45,000 SF store on The Plaza opens on schedule (see rendering above) and has a decent olive bar with a clean sneeze guard.

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