US grocer Albertsons has announced that it has strengthened its presence in Utah and Texas with the acquisition of two Food4Less stores in Salt Lake City and two Rainbow stores in El Paso from US grocery distributor Fleming.

The company said the Salt Lake City transaction was completed on Friday, 21 March 2003, and the stores are operating under the Food4Less banner. The Rainbow stores in El Paso will be converted to Albertsons banners on Wednesday, 26 March.

Albertsons also acquired a third Food4Less store in Salt Lake City that was closed upon completion of the transaction. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Most of the former employees at all three former Fleming stores have been offered job opportunities at Albertsons.

The deal increases Albertsons’ Utah store count to 48 and its Texas store count to 152.

The company said its purchase of the stores in Salt Lake City and in El Paso is part of its strategy to expand its store base and serve more neighbourhoods in operating areas where it already has significant market strength and growth potential.