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The good news from troubled grocery chain Supervalu is that the company isn’t going under, at least not imminently. The bad news is that your local store might be.

Supervalu announced today that it will close about 60 “underperforming or non-strategic stores” over the next few months. Southern California will be hardest hit, with 19 area Albertsons locations on the chopping block. At least ten other states are affected as well, with 8 more Albertsons, plus 22 Save-a-Lot stores, 4 ACME locations and 1 Jewel-Osco also set to close, along with 8 other stores to be named later (see the full list of store closings at the end of this article).

The closures come just over a month after the company’s new CEO took over, promising that “tough decisions will be made.” (read: “Stuff Could Be Cheaper at Supervalu-Owned Stores – If You Can Find One”) The chain has already faced several rounds of tough decisions this year – closing several other stores, cutting thousands of jobs, and firing its previous CEO.

The company estimates it will cost $80-90 million to close down the stores, then it expects to earn $80-90 million from selling off the stores’ assets and real estate. So Supervalu will essentially break even when all is said and done, but at least it will have stopped some of the bleeding. As the country’s third-largest traditional grocery chain, Supervalu’s value has plummeted as it struggles to compete with market leaders Kroger and Safeway – not to mention Walmart, which outperforms them all.

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A recent analysis published in the Idaho Statesman’s Business Insider faults Supervalu for trying to have it both ways – becoming a giant player a half-dozen years ago, with its multi-billion dollar acquisition of more than a thousand Albertsons stores, but then trying to operate them all as “neighborhood stores”, leaving local management to make their own decisions. “Such an acquisition will succeed if it improves efficiency or produces synergies,” writes Peter Crabb. Instead, Albertsons simply continued as is, and “Supervalu can’t seem to run Albertsons any better than the previous management could.”

When Wayne Sales took over as CEO in July, he suggested that all options were on the table – including selling some or all of the company. But a market analyst tells Bloomberg Businessweek that Sales’ decision to close “hint(s) at the idea that an imminent sale is not at hand.” Not that it would have been easy to find a buyer anyway. “Nobody views it as a viable buyout candidate any more,” another analyst told Reuters back in July. It would be easier, and cheaper, for rivals to just watch Supervalu slowly fade into oblivion. “Why pay for them when you’re going to get the market share for free?”

“These decisions are never easy because of the impact a store closure has on our team members, our customers, and our communities,” Sales said in announcing the store closures today. On a positive note, Wall Street reacted to the news by pushing its stock price up a whopping 2 cents, to $2.26.

Well, it’s a start.

September 7th update: “Store Closings Bring Sadness – and Shrugs”

Here is the full list of announced store closings, as provided to CBS MoneyWatch by Supervalu:

ACME 545 West Trenton Ave. Morrisville, PA
ACME 731 North Delsea Dr. Glassboro, NJ
ACME 1130 Chester Pike Sharon Hill, PA
ACME 1169 Shopping Center Rd. Stevensville, MD
Albertsons Mesmer & Jefferson Culver City, CA (previously announced)
Albertsons 7th & Redondo Long Beach, CA
Albertsons Harbor & Garden Grove Blvd. Garden Grove, CA
Albertsons Harbor Blvd. & Imperial Hwy. Fullerton, CA
Albertsons Dale & La Palma Buena Park, CA
Albertsons Brookhurst & Katella Anaheim, CA
Albertsons Baldwin Hills Los Angeles, CA
Albertsons Central & Chevy Chase Glendale, CA
Albertsons Devonshire & Reseda Northridge, CA
Albertsons Van Nuys & Sherman Van Nuys, CA
Albertsons Bear Valley & Amethyst Rds. Victorville, CA
Albertsons Pigeon Pass & Ironwood Moreno Valley, CA
Albertsons Colima & Fairway Dr. Rowland Heights, CA
Albertsons Hamner Ave & Hidden Valley Pkw. Norco, CA
Albertsons Grove Ave & Walnut St. Ontario, CA
Albertsons Limonite & Clay Riverside, CA
Albertsons Colima Road Hacienda Heights, CA
Albertsons Amar & Nogales Walnut, CA
Albertsons Azusa & Cypress Covina, CA
Albertsons La Grande La Grande, OR
Albertsons North Marysville Marysville, WA
Albertsons Juanita Kirkland, WA
Albertsons Benson & 208th Kent, WA
Albertsons Lacey Lacey, WA
Albertsons North Auburn Auburn, WA
Albertsons Bonney Lake Sumner, WA
Albertsons Corvallis Corvallis, OR
Jewel-Osco Michigan City Michigan City, IN
Save-A-Lot S. Eufaula Rd. Eufaula, AL
Save-A-Lot 2252 Mount Meigs Montgomery, AL
Save-A-Lot 1548 S. Hwy 231 Ozark, AL
Save-A-Lot E. Battle St. Talladega, AL
Save-A-Lot 69044 Palm Canyon Cathedral City, CA
Save-A-Lot 525 Bankhead Hwy. Carrollton, GA
Save-A-Lot 3157 Elm St. NE Covington, GA
Save-A-Lot 2324 Lake Harbin Rd. Morrow, GA
Save-A-Lot Watson Blvd. Warner Robins, GA
Save-A-Lot 148 W 79th St. Chicago, IL
Save-A-Lot 6858 S. Aberdeen St. Chicago, IL
Save-A-Lot 6250 Raytown Tfcwy Raytown, MO
Save-A-Lot 200 Gateway Cottage Grove, OR
Save-A-Lot S. Santiam Hwy. Lebanon, OR
Save-A-Lot 6828 SE Foster Portland, OR
Save-A-Lot 17420 SE Division St. Portland, OR
Save-A-Lot 4223 Main Springfield, OR
Save-A-Lot 1218 West 6th St. The Dalles, OR
Save-A-Lot 1700 Mile Hill Port Orchard, WA
Save-A-Lot 9820 Pacific Ave. Tacoma, WA

One Comment

  1. I shop regularly for my family and three others at save a lot but twice have been quietly shopping when ive been the victim of racist threats which managers do nothing about. Today i was getting an item from the shelf when a woman walked backwards into me then called me a cracker who was attacking her. The people with her told her it was her fault yet she started threatening to kill all white people and pulled her pants down, mooning shoppers. She did this several times, upsetting young mothers wirh children. No employees or the manager would do anything. This is not the first time something has happened. If the company wants to stay in business, perhaps they may want to prevent racist attacks on white customers.

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