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Lee Lee Supermarket sold to California-based company for $22.2 million

Popular international market to expand inventory to include products from even more countries
Posted at 12:21 PM, Apr 20, 2024

Lee Lee International Supermarket, a popular supplier of foods from over 30 countries, was purchased by California-based Maison Solutions for $22.2 million.

Lee Lee has three locations across Southern Arizona, including their Casas Adobes store in Tucson.

The sale will allow Lee Lee to expand its offerings to include even more countries of origin.

Maison Solutions currently operates six stores in Southern California that feature Asian and international foods.

Despite some worry from its regular customers about the change of ownership, Lee Lee’s management says that they will benefit.

“We will be lowering the prices down because we will be much more competitive,” says Lee Lee General Manager Lewis Wu. “And then we will be bringing in more varieties in fish, in produce, in fruit. ”

Wu says that around 10,000 new items will be added to the Tucson store’s inventory over the next five to six weeks. These include products from countries such as Brazil and Korea, among others.

The Hispanic section of the store will also be expanded to incorporate increasing customer demand.

Wu says that the Tucson store's management, upper and lower staff will remain the same as the transition takes place.

Arizona’s Asian population grew by 44.6% from 2010 to 2020, according to census data, compared to a 13.9% increase in the state’s total population. Asians had the steepest rise of any group over that timespan.

This demographic shift in the past decade reflects the changes in customer demands, including the popularity of markets such as Lee Lee. Wu says that the store has become increasingly popular in the past few years, with customers looking for foods from a wider variety of countries.

Maison Solutions chose Tucson as the first store to receive new supplies following the sale. The company will then focus on additional Lee Lee locations in Chandler and Peoria.

Wu says the company will look to add more stores once the additions to the three locations are “digested.”

As for the question of changing the market’s name after the sale, Wu says that there will be no changes.

“Lee Lee has been in Arizona for close to 30 years,” he says. “So the name will stay.”