SALT LAKE CITY — Associated Food Stores here said it plans to convert the Albertsons stores it is acquiring to a new banner — Fresh Market — though it is unlikely to complete the transitions until next spring.
The member-owned cooperative expects to formally take over the 34 former Albertsons stores it is acquiring from Minneapolis-based Supervalu within the next couple of weeks, Dick King, senior vice president, told SN.
The new store logo takes Associated's corporate logo — a lower-case “a” on a red background, with a shopping cart in front of the space in the “a” — and places it inside a red apple, with the name Fresh Market alongside it in two shades of green.
While Associated plans to put up signs on the stores' exteriors with the new name, those signs will only partially cover the Albertsons name to allow Associated to sell through the Albertsons inventories and then, after the holidays, to begin painting and patching the stores and converting them to its own private-label program, King explained.
He declined to say how much capital the wholesaler will invest in the conversions.
Although the deal originally included 36 Albertsons stores, Associated is buying only 34, King said. A store in Tooele, Utah, was excluded by the Federal Trade Commission, and Supervalu pulled a store in Kearns, Utah, out of the deal because the store was in need of substantial repairs, he explained.
Supervalu has four other Albertsons stores remaining in the Salt Lake area.
The Fresh Market stores will operate as corporate stores in a new division, Associated Fresh Markets; its other 22 corporate stores, which operate under the names Macey's, Dan's, Dick's and Lin's, operate as part of the Associated Retail Stores division.
The stores in the two corporate divisions will compete with each other, King pointed out.