Venezuela will fold an occupied supermarket chain into the state food distribution system.

President Nicolas Maduro announced Friday that the 35 locations of the Dia a Dia grocery chain will be assimilated into the state grocery agency starting this weekend. Maduro did not say if the change would be permanent, and stopped short of calling it an expropriation. The agency runs state supermarkets where goods are cheaper than at private stores.

Soldiers occupied the Dia a Dia chain earlier this week after the government accused it of hoarding food. The socialist country has been grappling with worsening shortages since the start of the new year.

Also Friday, the attorney general's office announced the detention of Dia a Dia's director, who the government accuses of participating in an "economic war."