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Supervalu to close 60 stores amid struggles

Updated: October 7, 2012 8:09AM



Supervalu said Wednesday it will close another 60 underperforming stores as it pushes to turn around its struggling business.

The grocery store operator, based in Eden Prairie, Minn., said the closures include Albertsons, ACME and Save-A-Lot stores in various states. The parent of Jewel-Osco stores did not announce any closures in the Chicago area chain.

Most of the targeted stores are expected to close by Dec. 1. The company notified employees Wednesday but did not say how many would be affected.

CEO Wayne Sales, who took the top spot in late July, says the closures reflect the company’s commitment to moving “with a greater sense of urgency to reduce costs and improve shareholder value.”

In June, the company said its first-quarter profit fell by nearly half as revenue tumbled. It suspended its dividend and said it was reviewing its options with financial advisers, a process that typically includes the possibility of selling the company.

The next month, the company fired CEO Craig Herkert and tapped Sales to lead the turnaround effort. Sales had been serving as chairman.

Supervalu and other supermarket chains have struggled in recent years amid intensifying competition from big-box retailers such as Target and Wal-Mart, and dollar stores and drugstores that are expanding their grocery sections and luring away customers with lower prices.

But even among its peers, Supervalu has been a laggard and has failed to adapt.

The company operates about 4,400 stores in the U.S. Its shares rose 2 cents to close at $2.26.



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