ALBERTSONS LLC TO CLOSE 11 SITES
BOISE, Idaho — Albertsons LLC here said it plans to close eight underperforming stores in Florida in mid-February and three Colorado stores in early March. The closures will reduce the chain's store count to 20 in Florida and 22 in Colorado, with 234 stores overall. Of the eight Florida stores, three are near Orlando, two are in the Palm Beach area and the others are farther south in Boca Raton, Delray Beach and Pembroke Pines. The company said it has accepted an offer for the three Colorado stores — in Centennial, Denver and Littleton — from an unidentified out-of-state bidder. Albertsons LLC also said it has agreed to sell its 1 million-square-foot distribution center in Plant City, Fla., to Gordon Food Service, Grand Rapids, Mich., and will lease back a portion of the facility to provide perishables to its Florida stores. The stores will receive groceries from the Quincy, Fla., facility owned by Minneapolis-based Supervalu under a new supply agreement and nonfoods from Albertsons' Ponca City, Okla., distribution center.
WAL-MART SHUTTERS 10 SAM'S CLUBS
BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores last week said it would close 10 money-losing Sam's Club warehouse stores. Brian Cornell, chief executive officer of Sam's Club, in a statement said the closures “are one piece of a larger strategy focused on driving superior value, growth and improved returns,” and that the company would open six new clubs and remodel 52 during the fiscal year. The closures are in Nampa, Idaho; La Quinta, Calif.; Louisville, Colo.; Vista, Calif.; Rolling Meadows, Ill.; Clay, N.Y.; Irvine, Calif.; and one club each in the Houston, Phoenix and Sacramento, Calif., markets.
UKROP'S WORKERS BUY JOE'S MARKET
RICHMOND, Va. — Two employees of Ukrop's Super Markets here have reached a deal to buy Joe's Market, Ukrop's specialty food market here, the company said. The store — which specializes in prepared foods and gourmet ingredients — was not included as part of Ukrop's recently announced sale to Ahold's Giant-Carlisle chain. David Taylor, Ukrop's director of merchandising, along with Buster Wright, its senior director of packaged goods, are to buy the store. They told the local media outlets that they would take over the store Feb. 8, pending landlord approvals, and would change the name of the store to Libbie's Market.
FRESH & EASY EXPANDS IN FRESNO
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market here opened three more stores in the Fresno, Calif., market last week — for a total of four in the area, including one in Lemoore that opened late last year — with two more due next month. Two of the stores that opened last week are located in Fresno and the third is in nearby Clovis. The company said another store is scheduled to open Feb. 3 in Fresno and one more Feb. 24 in Reedley.
TWO NYC STORES MAY GET FUNDS
NEW YORK — Two Bronx supermarkets would be the first to benefit under the recently enacted legislation providing public benefits to support food store development in needy neighborhoods. The Industrial Development Agency of New York last week proposed financial assistance for a Foodtown supermarket damaged by fire on 204th Street, and for a Western Beef store and accompanying warehouse on Webster Avenue.