BERKELEY, Calif. - Grocery Outlet here headed off an apparent attempt by Albertsons to re-establish its claim to the Lucky name last week by obtaining a temporary restraining order in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.
In its motion, Grocery Outlet - which began using the Lucky name on a single store in early April, three years after Albertsons had stopped using it - said it learned a few days earlier that Albertsons planned to re-brand three stores in Southern California and two in Las Vegas, effective last Wednesday, under the Lucky name.
Grocery Outlet went to court to obtain the restraining order, arguing if Albertsons was allowed to convert the stores and was subsequently forced to close them because of a court decision upholding an earlier ruling that it had abandoned the Lucky name, "it would destroy Grocery Outlet's future use of the Lucky trade name throughout California and Nevada."
Albertsons officials could not be reached for comment last week.
Although Albertsons is scheduled to be sold - possibly by the end of this week - its buy-and-sell agreement passes ownership of the Lucky name to Supervalu, attorneys for Grocery Outlet told SN.
Grocery Outlet, a chain of 125 bargain warehouse stores, is using the Lucky name on a single store in Northern California, though it has disclosed plans for additional locations.
A federal judge refused in April to grant a temporary restraining order requested by Albertsons asking Grocery Outlet to stop using the name. The judge set a preliminary injunction hearing for April 28 to give Albertsons the opportunity to present evidence to support its argument - a hearing subsequently postponed until June 30.
Grocery Outlet said in its filing last week that Albertsons had reintroduced the Lucky name - on its website and in subsequent print ads in early April, with plans for last week's store re-branding - to give it time to establish use of the name prior to the June 30 hearing.