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Albertsons to lay off up to 2,500 workers in California, Nevada

The grocery store chain, which operates 213 supermarkets in California and 34 in Nevada, is cutting costs amid slumping sales.

June 07, 2012|By Shan Li, Los Angeles Times
  • Customer Espi Andrade checks out at an Albertsons in Hacienda Heights. The chain sys it will lay off as many as 2,500 workers at its supermarkets in Southern California and Nevada in an effort to slash costs amid slumping sales.
Customer Espi Andrade checks out at an Albertsons in Hacienda Heights.… (Anne Cusack, Los Angeles…)

Grocery store chain Albertsons, a division of SuperValu Inc., is laying off as many as 2,500 workers at its supermarkets in Southern California and Nevada in an effort to slash costs amid slumping sales.

The layoffs, which begin June 17, will affect a "small number" of employees at every Albertsons store in the two states, company spokeswoman Lilia Rodriguez said. The chain operates 213 supermarkets in California and 34 in Nevada.

Rodriguez declined to comment on the number of lost jobs in Los Angeles, but said most 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 to bump up sales and customer traffic, Rodriguez said. In February, the company laid off some employees at its store 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 to meet all its collective bargaining agreements, Rodriguez said.

Ricardo Icaza, president of the UFCW's Local 770, said the union, already well aware of Albertsons' business troubles, was "very disappointed" with the layoffs.

"We have been assured by the company they will agree to lay people off on the basis of seniority in accordance with the labor agreement we had with them," Icaza said.

Founded in 1939, Albertsons operates 445 Albertsons and Lucky supermarkets in the Western U.S. Parent company SuperValu of Eden Prairie, Minn., has about 4,300 stores in the U.S. and employs about 130,000 workers.

shan.li@latimes.com

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