|Type||Subsidiary of Albertsons LLC|
|Founded||1939 (Boise, Idaho)|
|Number of locations||594|
|Key people||Robert Miller, CEO|
|Products||Bakery, dairy, deli, frozen foods, grocery, meat, pharmacy, produce, seafood, snacks, liquor|
Albertsons (also New Albertsons) is a supermarket chain that operates 594 grocery stores in California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Texas under five divisions. Supermarket News ranked then-parent company SuperValu number five in the 2007 "Top 75 North American Food Retailers". Albertsons is a wholly owned subsidiary of Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons LLC.
Albertsons was founded by Joe Albertson in 1939 in Boise, Idaho. An ad in the Idaho Statesman newspaper touted Joe Albertson's first store as "Idaho's largest and finest food store." The store was filled with perks that, at the time, were brand-new: free parking, a money-back guarantee, even an ice cream shop. The store was located at 17th and State Streets, a few blocks north of downtown Boise.
Joe Albertson's grocery store was an enormous success, and he plowed his profits back into the business. New stores were opened in neighboring towns to the west, Nampa, Caldwell, and Emmett, before Pearl Harbor in late 1941. The company grew steadily in the years following World War II. When Albertson was considering putting a new store in a town, he would drive around the town and look for neighborhoods with lots of children's clothing hanging on clotheslines; he knew that those kinds of neighborhoods were where he wanted to build his stores.
Albertsons, Inc. became a public company in 1959, and its growth continued, opening its 100th store, in Seattle in 1964. In 1966, Albertsons expanded to southern California by acquiring Greater All American Markets, a small chain in Orange County.
Partnering with Skaggs 
In 1969, Albertsons partnered with Skaggs Drug Centers, owned by The Skaggs Companies, Inc., to create the first combination food/drug stores. The partnership was a tremendous success for several years. The partnership ended due to the fact that it was getting more difficult to control. Neither partner could buy each other out, and the partnership was dissolved amicably in 1977. Skaggs kept stores in Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, and Albertsons kept stores in Florida, Alabama, and Louisiana, as well as some Texas stores. Albertsons added three Skaggs-Alpha Beta stores in Austin within months after entering that market in early 1989 with the acquisition of six Tom Thumb Food & Pharmacy stores. In 1992, seventy-four of the remaining Skaggs stores (having been through several names under Skaggs/American Stores control, first "Skaggs SuperCenters", then "Skaggs-Alpha Beta", and finally "Jewel-Osco") in Oklahoma, Florida, Arkansas, and Texas were acquired by Albertsons from Skaggs/American Stores, including all 53 Jewel-Osco stores in Texas. Albertsons would increase its store count in the Dallas-Fort Worth area by adding 41 Jewel-Osco stores to its 19 stores already in operation. (These were also stores that only months before were rebranded from Skaggs-Alpha Beta to Jewel-Osco.) The stores would be rebranded as Albertsons.
The Skaggs acquisition was a success, and the new stores were smoothly integrated into Albertsons' Texas division. The ease of that acquisition and Albertsons' high-flying stock price led Albertsons to attempt expansion on a grand scale. In a series of acquisitions in the late 1990s, Albertsons acquired Seessel's in the Memphis, Tennessee market; 14 Bruno's stores in the Nashville and eastern Tennessee markets; Smitty's in the Springfield, Missouri market; Super One Foods in the Des Moines, Iowa market; and Buttrey Food & Drug in Montana, Wyoming, and western North Dakota. All of those stores except Seessel's were re-bannered as Albertsons, and several new stores were built, concentrating growth in fast-growing markets throughout Tennessee. Of those acquisitions, only Buttrey was smoothly integrated into Albertsons; by the end of 2005, all of the Albertsons and Seessel's stores in Tennessee outside Memphis had been closed, and the rest had been sold to Schnucks of St. Louis, Missouri. The former Smitty's was divested to Price Cutter, and Super One was closed and the buildings sold.
American Stores 
In 1999, Albertsons made its biggest acquisition: American Stores Company, which included the chains Acme in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware; Lucky in California and Nevada; Jewel and Jewel-Osco in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Michigan, and two pharmacy chains: Osco Drug and Sav-on Drugs. The acquisition briefly made Albertsons the largest American grocery operator, with over 2,500 stores in 37 states, until Kroger's acquisition of Fred Meyer closed the following month. To make the acquisition, Albertsons was forced by anti-trust concerns to sell nearly 100 stores, primarily in California, Nevada, and New Mexico. In southern California, there were already Albertsons, so in order to not have two banners in the same area, Lucky stores were converted to the Albertsons banner in November 1999, and the Lucky brand name was retired.
Company Problems 
In 2004 Albertsons Drug Managers filed a class action lawsuit Scott Cole & Associates: Albertsons Class Action. Scott Cole & Associates, APC filed the action for violations of California's overtime laws their behalf. The action settled for $2.35 Million, representing one of the highest per-work week settlements in the state at the time.
In 2001, Albertsons sold its freestanding Osco Drug stores in the northeastern states to Jean Coutu Group, a Canadian drug store company. Those stores were re-branded as Brooks Pharmacy after the sale was completed in January 2002. In March 2005, Albertsons re-introduced the Osco brand name to the New England region by way of its Shaw's and Star Market pharmacies. Also, Albertsons began issuing Albertsons Preferred Savings Cards.
Albertsons exited the San Antonio, Texas, market in April 2002 by closing its 20 remaining area stores after already shuttering three other stores in December 2001. Albertsons was ranked as the area's number two grocer by market share, compared to H-E-B's top position in the market. At the time of the withdrawal, the 44-store H-E-B chain held a commanding 61% market share, while Albertsons held a 15% market share. Albertsons had held the third position at the time Kroger exited the market in mid-1993 when it closed its 15 area stores. Then, H-E-B's 37 area stores held a 43.2% market share, Kroger's 15 area stores a 13.7% share, and Albertsons' 10 stores a 13.1% share.
Also in 2002, Albertsons sold its Seessel's supermarket chain in Memphis and parts of Mississippi to Schnucks, Brookshire's, and pulled out of Houston, closing its 43 area stores leaving them to Kroger and Randalls after entering that market in 1990.
In 2013 the company announced it was selling all the stores to Cerberus-owned Albertsons LLC. The transaction closed on March 21, 2013.
Sale to SuperValu, CVS, and Cerberus 
In 2005, Albertsons put itself up for sale, due to not being able to compete with other chains. Several companies interested were The Kroger Co. and SuperValu Inc., these companies were interested in the supermarket chains, whereas The Walgreen Co., CVS Corporation, and Rite Aid were interested in purchasing the Osco and Sav-on drugstore chains.
On January 23, 2006, SuperValu Inc., CVS Corporation, and an investment group led by Cerberus Capital Management announced they had agreed to acquire Albertsons for $10 billion in cash, stock and debt assumption.
As of June 2, 2006, the company's retail stores were divided as follows:
- SuperValu has acquired 1124 stores in the deal, including:
- Acme (134 locations)
- Acme Express, Jewel Express, and Albertsons Express (107 fuel centers)
- Albertsons (564 locations in Southern California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming) - New Albertsons Inc.
- Bristol Farms (11 locations)
- Jewel and Jewel-Osco (198 locations)
- Lazy Acres (1 location)
- Max Foods (4 locations) (3 converted into Lucky, 1 became Albertsons in July 2006)
- Osco Pharmacy and Sav-on Pharmacy (906 pharmacies)
- Save-A-Lot (2 stores franchised by Shaw's)
- Shaw's (169 locations)
- Star Market (20 locations)
- Distribution centers (11 centers)
- CVS acquired all (approximately 702) of the stand-alone Osco Drug and Sav-on Drugs rebranding them all as CVS Pharmacy, though they closed approximately 100 of the acquired stores. Many CVS locations were close to Sav-on stores.
- The Cerberus-led group acquired:
- Albertsons (655 locations in Arizona, Northern California, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wyoming (later sold to SuperValu)) - Albertsons LLC
- County Line Liquors (1 location)
- Grocery Warehouse (1 location)
- Jewel-Osco (2 locations)
- Max Foods (2 locations)
- Super Saver Foods (23 locations, 21 closed in late 2006)
After Acquisition 
SuperValu has publicly stated that Albertsons will continue to have a presence in Boise, Idaho, for a three-year period from the date of acquisition, but has not stated which functions will remain permanently in Boise, Idaho, or transitioned to Eden Prairie, Minnesota.
Albertson's, Inc., is no longer a separate publicly traded company and has been removed from the NYSE. Albertsons will only exist as a nameplate for the grocery stores acquired by SuperValu and Cerberus. New Albertson's, Inc., has become the successor company to Albertsons according to SEC filings. Albertsons LLC was also formed as part of the reorganization of assets and liabilities and will eventually be led by the Cerberus group.
In 2007, Albertsons created the "Crazy About Food" slogan and campaign. At the same time, they announced they no longer needed spokesperson Patricia Heaton. In an effort to unify the entire SuperValu company, a new slogan was introduced at the end of 2008 throughout the company and is "Good Things are Just Around the Corner." Previous slogans were "At Albertsons, We Think Like You Do.", "It's Your Store.", and "Helping Make Your Life Easier."
In 2008, Albertsons divested Bristol Farms to its senior management.
On July 28, 2009, SuperValu announced that it was selling 36 of its 43 Utah Albertsons locations to Associated Food Stores, and is seeking a buyer for 4 others. All stores will be re-branded "Fresh Market". Only the 3 stores located near St. George and in Tooele, Utah will remain branded as Albertsons.
On September 5, 2012, SuperValu said they are closing 26 Albertsons stores in the U.S. The closings are part of a decision to close about 60 stores nationwide.
Sale to Cerberus 
On January 10, 2013, it was announced that Supervalu was selling New Albertsons (Albertsons and the ASC purchased stores) to Cerberus Capital Management, which own the rest of the Albertsons stores. Since then, the Albertsons LLC-owned stores have come into the fold. In February 23, 2013, Albertsons LLC announced it would split operations of the combined chain into five divisions: Northwestern, Intermountain, Southern California, Southern, and Southwestern.
Albertsons owns several store brands ("private label" brands), often bearing the name of the chain sold under, e.g. "Jewel" brand products in the Jewel and Jewel-Osco locations. Other Albertsons brands over the years have included Good Day, Village Market, A+, Master's Choice, and Janet Lee. The drug store brands (used for health and beauty aids, over-the-counter medications, and intimate paper goods) were consolidated under the name "Equaline," rather than the previous name, "Sav-On Osco by Albertsons" brand. Albertsons introduced an upscale private label brand, "Essensia," in 2003, which has now been renamed by SuperValu as Culinary Circle. Store brand items in Albertsons stores include Albertsons (national brand quality food), Shoppers Value (value priced items), Homelife (national brand quality non-foods), Culinary Circle ("gourmet" foods and ready-made meals), Whole Care Pet (pet foods and supplies), Baby Basics (diapers and infant care items), Java Delight (coffee), Farm Fresh (fresh produce), Arctic Shores (frozen seafood), Stockman & Dakota (high-quality beef), Flavorite (national brand quality foods, used throughout Supervalu stores), Stone Ridge (ice cream and sherbet), Super Chill (soft drinks and mixers), Equaline (health and beauty products), and Wild Harvest (natural and organic foods). In 2011 Supervalu announced it would eliminate Flavorite and all brands named after the chains it operates (such as Albertsons, Jewel, Shaw's, etc.) and would replace those labels with a new label, Essential Everyday.
Albertsons was increasingly progressive in the area of technology, having in recent years added a "check out while you go" system, known as "Shop 'N' Scan", where shoppers scanned items as they shopped and quickly paid before leaving. This was tested at Albertsons (now LLC) stores in Texas. This system has since been removed from some stores.
Albertsons offered (in certain areas) its customers the option to shop from home via the company's website, www.albertsons.com. Pickups were arranged at the store, or the items were delivered to the customer's home. In areas where this program was in effect, it was widely advertised over television and radio by corporate spokeswoman Patricia Heaton.
At the beginning of 2009, SuperValu introduced a new innovative way to help customers shop healthy known as nutrition iQ. This program identifies the health benefits of over 60,000 products in 11 eleven different health categories.
Preferred Savings Card 
Prior to the introduction of the Albertsons Preferred Savings Card in 2001 to all stores, Albertsons used a savings program called "Bonus Buys." "Bonus Buys" were available to anyone that shopped at Albertsons. Preferred Savings Cards are issued to all shoppers and allow for customers to actually see the savings. Only the SuperValu owned Albertsons stores continue to use the Preferred Savings Cards, as the Albertsons LLC stores discontinued them after September 2007.
Albertsons launched a gas rewards program at the start of 2009. Every time customers spend $50 using their Preferred Savings card they will earn a discount of 5 cents off per gallon of gasoline at any Albertsons Express Gas Station. Customers can earn up to $1.50 off per gallon of gasoline or diesel (up to 20 gallons) in a rolling 30 day period. Savings greater than $1.50 per gallon may be redeemed at the customer's next purchase.
In the Community 
Albertsons offered a way for all non-profit youth oriented organizations to earn money. This program was called "Community Partners." Members of an organization could link their Preferred Savings Card to an organizations number. Albertsons then gave the organization a percentage of the sales used with the card. They ended the program on May 1, 2010.
- 2007's Top 75 North American Food Retailers: Supermarket News
- "Supervalu to sell 5 grocery chains, including Albertson’s, Jewel-Osco, to Cerebus-led group". Washington Post. January 10, 2013. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
- SEC Filings: SuperValu
- Albertsons says it's "crazy"
- SuperValu announces sale of Albertsons stores in Utah
- "Albertsons to close 26 U.S. stores". The Los Angeles Times. September 5, 2012. Retrieved September 7, 2012.
- "SUPERVALU Announces Definitive Agreement for Sale of Five Retail Grocery Banners to Cerberus-Led Investor Group". Supervalu. January 9, 2013. Retrieved January 14, 2013.
- "Albertson's discontinues Community Rewards program". Albertsons. 2010-05-01. Retrieved 7/5/2010.
- Albertsons Homepage
- The New SuperValu, summarizing the impact of the Albertsons acquisition
- Albertsons History, Albertsons historical summary