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Thursday, Nov 30, 2023

Grocery Bags Change, Employees Stay the Same

The name has changed, and the colors on the bags are different, but prices and selection should remain the same after Albertson’s Inc. bought out American Stores, Inc., parent company of Lucky Stores, Inc.

The $12 billion acquisition was finalized two weeks ago and caps more than a year of negotiations and sales by Albertson’s to pave the way for the deal.

More than 400 Lucky stores in California are affected by the acquisition.

Albertson’s is now the second-largest food retailer in San Diego, with 53 stores. Vons is the city’s largest with 57 stores and Ralphs Grocery Co. is third, with 35.

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The acquisition makes Albertson’s the country’s second-largest grocery chain behind Kroger.

“This union produces a great new company with new strengths and new opportunities,” said Gary Michael, CEO of Albertson’s.

“One thing will never change though, and that’s our commitment to our customers and the communities we serve.”

Lucky Employees

Albertson’s has more than 100,000 employees. Michael said Lucky employees will not be affected by the sale.

In addition to renaming more than 400 Lucky stores in California and Nevada, Albertson’s is also discontinuing the “Lucky Rewards Card” in favor of its own “Bonus Buy Program” that provides discounts for customers without the need for a card.

Albertson’s is encouraging all former Lucky customers to turn in their discount cards. The company will make a donation to the Susan G. Korman Breast Cancer Foundation for each person who does so.

American Stores also owned the Sav-on and SuperSaver stores, but their names will remain the same.

Earlier this summer, Albertson’s was forced to sell 12 of its San Diego stores and 132 outlets in other states to meet antitrust approval for the purchase of American Stores.

The sales were mandated by the Federal Trade Commission, which then approved the merger.

Long Retail Histories

Lucky Stores got its start in 1931, when it first opened in San Francisco.

The store slowly expanded, and by the early 1980s included more than 1,450 specialty businesses and food stores in 29 states.

As part of a major restructuring effort completed in 1987, the company closed, sold or distributed to its stockholders all of its specialty businesses, and returned to its food retail roots.

In May 1988, American Stores purchased Lucky, and in June 1999, Albertson’s purchased American Stores.

Albertson’s also has a long history in the food retail industry. Founded in Boise, Idaho, in 1939, the chain had $14 billion in sales in 1998, and now has more than a 1,000 stores in 25 states.

During the first week following the acquisition, Albertson’s stock (NYSE-ABS) was trading at an average of $34.


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