Albertsons to Close Nine Stores in California

— February 27, 2009

Albertsons will shut nine stores in California between now and April 9. About a dozen workers are losing their jobs, and the chain is working to reassign hundreds more to other stores.

The Albertsons store closures are part of a strategy by corporate parent Supervalu Inc. of Eden Prairie, Minnesota., to trim underperforming stores.

After the closures, Albertsons will have 275 stores and about 26,000 union workers. Last Friday, Albertsons closed stores in Lakewood, Canoga Park, Chula Vista and Encinitas. On April 9, Albertsons will also close stores in San Diego, Cathedral City, Lancaster, Rancho Cucamonga and Temple City.

The company also plans to change the nameplate of its South Gate store to Lucky Stores, a brand it acquired in 1998 and then converted to Albertsons. But now it is starting to rebuild Lucky as a low-price chain. This would be just the fourth Lucky store in California. The others are in El Centro, San Ysidro and Alhambra. An Albertsons store in Van Nuys and one in Oxnard also are slated to eventually become Lucky stores.

Nationwide, Supervalu plans to close about 50 stores. It also will open fewer stores and scale back on remodeling stores to save money.

The company is forecasting that its same-store sales, an important measure of a retailer's health, will decline one percent during its 2009 fiscal year.


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