Publix Super Markets intends to buy 49 Florida stores from Albertsons LLC, the company announced yesterday (9 June).

The deal is expected to close in September, the US retailer said.

Under the agreement, Publix will acquire 31 stores in central Florida, 14 outlets in north Florida and four stores in south Florida.

Publix CEO Ed Crenshaw emphasised the group’s strategy of strengthening its presence in areas where it already operates. The company currently has 936 stores in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee.

“The demand for the high-quality service our associate owners provide gives us the opportunity to reinvest in these communities by acquiring additional sites for Publix stores,” Crenshaw said.

Publix, a regional retailer privately owned and operated by its 142,000 employees, posted 2007 sales of US$23bn.

Further details of the transaction were not disclosed and Publix was unavailable for comment when contacted by just-food.