Albertsons to Build Small Discount Stores

CHICAGO - Albertsons Inc. has unveiled plans to expand its operations by building small discount grocery stores, according to a story in the Chicago Sun-Times.

The new grocery stores, which are yet to be named, are designed to better compete against low-cost rivals such as Food 4 Less and Wal-Mart Stores.

Albertsons c.e.o. Larry Johnston told investors and Wall Street analysts during an earnings announcement Tuesday that he hoped to operate the discount stores and the company's traditional grocery stores within the same markets.

Johnston said some of Albertsons' traditional grocery stores could be converted to the lower-cost formats. He did not identify which stores or how many could be changed, but he said the demographics of some neighborhoods surrounding Albertsons' traditional grocery stores have changed.

Albertsons also will build the discount grocery stores on new sites, including stores it may take over in a future acquisition, Johnston said.
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