US retailer Albertsons LLC is pulling almost entirely out of Florida, putting around 1,100 jobs at risk.
The privately-owned retailer which licenses the Albertsons brand from SuperValu Inc, plans to close 13 of its 17 stores in Florida, in addition to a limited-line distribution centre.
Locations for the store closures include Key West, Longwood, Port Saint and Winter Springs. The distribution centre is in Polk County.
A spokesperson for Albertsons told just-food the decision to close the stores came out of a business evaluation that resulted in a need to focus on its “healthiest” stores.
“Looking at the economy over the last four years, with the unprecedented and unanticipated downturn that it has taken, the cost of doing business has made it very expensive and has made our work [in Florida] much more difficult,” she said.
The stores and distribution centre were acquired by Albertsons LLC from the original Albertsons chain in 2006. The closures will leave the retailer operating around 200 stores across the country, but the move is expected to impact around 1,100 employees.
The spokesperson said the company was working with its associates on a one-to-one basis to identify opportunities elsewhere in the company they may be interested in.
“If associates are unable to move and are eligible for severance they will receive it. Everytime we go through something like this, we notify the various local agencies that we have still workforce that are available.”
The spokesperson said Albertsons had no plans to close the remaining Florida stores in the near future.
“Those are excellent stores for us. When we completed our analysis we felt that those four stores would be able to absorb the costs of doing business in Florida.”
She added that the company also had no plans to close stores in any other locations across the US.