ALBERTSON'S KEPT FOCUS ON SHOPPERS IN '96

BOISE, Idaho -- Meeting the demands of the constantly evolving food shopper was the goal of Albertson's in 1996, according to the company's just-released annual report. e customer service and convenience at checkout.Rolling out its home-meal replacement system, called "Quick Fixin' Ideas," to all stores. The program offers consumers meal solutions in every aisle, plus sampling stations, heat-and-serve

BOISE, Idaho -- Meeting the demands of the constantly evolving food shopper was the goal of Albertson's in 1996, according to the company's just-released annual report.

e customer service and convenience at checkout.

Rolling out its home-meal replacement system, called "Quick Fixin' Ideas," to all stores. The program offers consumers meal solutions in every aisle, plus sampling stations, heat-and-serve entrees and recipes.

Emphasizing new training programs for those of the company's 88,000 employees who wish to advance to management or store director positions.

Building, expanding and remodeling stores to keep pace with consumer needs.

In 1996, Albertson's opened 70 stores, including four stores it acquired, and completed 42 remodels, including six expansions. At year-end, the company had 826 stores in 20 Western, Midwestern and Southern states.

Albertson's plans to open 65 new stores and remodel approximately 40 stores in 1997, the report said.

Sales for the 52-week year ended Jan. 30, 1997 increased 9.5% to $13.8 billion, compared with $12.6 billion the last year. Comparable-store sales increased 2.1%. Net earnings increased 6.2% to $494 million. Earnings per share increased 6.5% to $1.96 per share, the company said.