Customers enter an Albertsons store in Denver. Layoffs will take place… (Matthew Staver / Bloomberg…)
Grocery store chain Albertsons, a division of SuperValu Inc., is laying off up to 2,500 workers at its supermarkets in Southern California and Nevada in an effort to slash costs amid slumping sales.
The layoffs will begin June 17 and affect a "small number" of employees at every Albertsons store in the two states, said company spokeswoman Lilia Rodriguez. The chain operates 213 supermarkets in California and 34 in Nevada.
Rodriguez declined to comment on the numbers of lost jobs in Los Angeles, but said the majority of payroll reductions will affect California. No layoffs are planned for Albertsons' Intermountain West division or at Supervalu stores.
The grocery chain has been trying to reduce costs and shake up its operations in order to bump up sales and customer traffic, Rodriguez said. In February, the company laid off some employees at its support center in Fullerton.
"We needed to make a change -- that was very clear," Rodriguez said. "We have not kept pace with the changing needs of our guests. So these immediate steps will help us remove costs from the business."
Albertsons is discussing layoffs with the United Food and Commercial Workers union in order to meet all its collective bargaining agreements, Rodriguez said. The UFCW did not immediately return calls for comment.
Founded in 1939, Albertsons currently operates 445 Albertsons stores and Lucky supermarkets on the West Coast. Parent company SuperValu, which has about 4,300 stores in the U.S., employs about 130,000 workers.
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