Fleming (NYSE:FLM) today announced the company has engaged Morgan Stanley Dean Witter to assist in exploring strategic alternatives for Fleming's conventional supermarket chains, including the potential sale of these operations. The company intends to focus greater management and financial resources on Fleming's growth areas, including value retailing. "The conventional supermarket segment offers local-market growth potential for independents and national growth potential for consolidators, and these are all strong operations," said Fleming CEO and Chairman Mark Hansen. "But the middle ground potential does not meet our aggressive targets for shareholder value, and the company-owned conventional supermarket format does not fit our growth strategy." "We are focusing our financial and management resources on Fleming's very best growth prospects and continued improvement of our cost structure. This allows Fleming to strengthen its value proposition and service to the independent retailers, chain retailers, e-tailers and other customers of our distribution segment. It also enhances our opportunities to accelerate our growth commitment to value retailing, including our Food4Less® warehouse concept," said Hansen. "The value retail format is distinct and consumers have demonstrated a demand for a deep price impact operation. We believe Fleming's distribution system is well suited to serve this format. Fleming can become a major player in a very short time, providing our shareholders with superior returns and growing our company to exciting levels in this retail area," said Hansen. The 161 conventional supermarkets under evaluation include: