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May 05, 1988|Mary Ann Galante, Times staff writer

The just-released annual report of American Stores Co., which is moving its headquarters from Salt Lake City to Orange County, is more notable for what it doesn't say than what it does.

As expected, the report announces that American, parent company of Alpha Beta supermarkets and Sav-on Osco drugstores, will indeed relocate to Irvine as of July 1.

According to the report, the reshuffling is "an effort to place our headquarters in one of the company's major operating market areas, therefore, closer to our business interests." The La Habra-based southern division of Alpha Beta operates 197 stores in Southern California, including 39 in Orange County.

The Orange County location "will enhance the company's access to financial centers, management training and executive recruitment opportunities," the report continues.

What isn't mentioned is that L.S. Skaggs, American's chairman who owns 11% of the company's common stock, last year bought a luxurious home in the Laguna Beach area.

The report also doesn't make clear exactly how many American executives will be relocating to Orange County. "That's not material to the issue," said a company spokesman who asked not to be named. American will retain a branch office in Salt Lake City.

Once here, the executives who are moving will be headquartered in the twin-towered Atrium office complex on Von Karman Avenue, according to the report. Those are the same quarters of glass and polished dark green slate that became home to the Alpha Beta Stores in November.

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