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Weis Markets announced it has entered into an agreement with Mars Super Markets to purchase five Mars stores in Baltimore County, a move that essentially doubles Weis' footprint in the region. Terms of the deal, which is expected to close during the summer, were not disclosed.

An internal memo to Mars' store employees acknowledged that the company" has been struggling with declining sales for several years," saying that "we have tried cutting costs everywhere we can while preserving jobs and benefits, but it ha snot been enough."

The memo said that Mars management will close the eight stores not being sold at the end of July if they cannot be sold to other retailers.

Mars has been in business since 1943.
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