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Jewel-Osco Relocates HQ as First Step in Revamp

MELROSE PARK, Ill. -- As part of an overall strategy to improve and expand its food and drug retail operations, Supervalu's 184-store Jewel-Osco subsidiary here will relocate its headquarters to the Village of Itasca this summer.

The headquarters relocation “marks a new chapter in the growth of our company," said Keith Nielsen, president of Jewel-Osco. "As we embark on an aggressive store building and remodeling schedule, this move will help us better serve our customers by staying centrally located and accessible to store management."

The move follows suit with Supervalu’s aggressive capital investment plan for its Jewel-Osco unit that calls for 80 percent of its stores to be newly built or remodeled within a seven-year period. Jewel-Osco's strategy to rehab and build new stores stretches through 2010.

Jewel-Osco has called 1955 W. North Ave. in Melrose Park home for the past 53 years. While the facility will be placed on the market for sale, its distribution center, along with its 1,500 associates, is also located in Melrose Park and will not be affected by the headquarters move.

In 2008 alone, 30 stores will be remodeled and three new stores will be constructed under Jewel-Osco's new Premium Fresh & Healthy design. The new store layout will emphasize the Osco Pharmacy presence as well as fresh produce, deli and prepared foods, bakery, service meat and seafood and fresh floral.

"Our new store design highlights the convenience and customer service features available at Osco pharmacies," said Nielsen. "This layout provides a very comfortable and overall convenient shopping experience with emphasis on premium fresh and healthy foods."

Over 400 corporate employees will make the transition from Melrose Park to the Itasca facility, located at 150 Pierce Road. In its lease agreement, Jewel-Osco will occupy over 50 percent of the building, taking up 97,000-square-feet, including the second, third and fourth floors, as well as portions of the first floor.

The retailer’s new headquarters will provide a better working environment from which to serve stores, as well as providing improved amenities for associates, vendors, and guests, said Nielsen.

Jewel-Osco operates 184 grocery retail stores, including 172 pharmacies and 29 fuel centers, across Illinois, Iowa, and Indiana. Nearly 32,000 of Jewel-Osco's associates are unionized, represented by; the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW); the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Union; the International Union of Operating Engineers; and the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers Union.

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