Albertsons is the X factor in Southern California. While Ralphs and Vons continue to slug it out in a seesaw battle for market-share leadership, Albertsons is struggling for a more secure foothold and Stater Bros. Markets is trying to chip away at all three from its stronghold on the fringe of the metropolitan area. What could shake up the market is whether Minneapolis-based Supervalu decides to invest a lot of capital in the Southern California Albertsons store base or opts to sell it in ...

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