MODESTO, Calif. — Save Mart Supermarkets here said it will convert 72 Albertsons stores in the San Francisco Bay Area to the Lucky Stores banner, beginning with eight stores this week and continuing with eight conversions a week through Sept. 28. Except for a single store operated briefly under the Lucky name by another company, the Lucky name disappeared from the Bay Area — and other parts of California — when Albertsons acquired the chain in 1998. Bob Spengler, president and chief operating officer, Save Mart, told SN he anticipates the Bay Area stores will see sales increases of between 10% and 15%, part of which will result from the return of the Lucky name to those stores. Of the 130 Northern California stores Save Mart acquired last year from Albertsons LLC, 41 have been converted to the Save Mart banner, 72 are being converted to the Lucky banner and five have closed, with 12 more stores remaining in northern Nevada. Spengler said Save Mart will decide over the next six weeks whether to re-banner those stores as Save Mart or Lucky.
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