U.S. grocery giant Supervalu to close 60 stores
One of the U.S.'s largest grocery retailers, Supervalu has announced plans to close 60 struggling stores within the next few months in a bid to turn around its finances.
The closures include 27 Albertsons stores - 19 in Southern California and eight in the Intermountain West Region - as well as four ACME stores and one previously announced Jewel-Osco location.
Supervalu's new chief executive Wayne Sales, said the decision had not been an easy one because of the effect on staff, customers and local communities.
"The announcement reflects our commitment to move with a greater sense of urgency to reduce costs and improve shareholder value."
The move is expected to generate US$35 million in cash within the next 12 months and US$80-90 million over the next three years from monetizing owned real estate.
Supervalu said the cash generated would be used to reduce outstanding debt and for other general corporate purposes.
A further eight stores are also planned for closure but the company said it could not disclose details due to on-going discussions. It's expected they will close before Supervalu's fiscal year in Feb. 23, 2013.
Supervalu has 4,400 stores throughout the U.S. with annual sales of US435 billion and employees 130,000 staff.