ALBERTSONS REORGANIZES TEXAS DIVISION

BOISE, Idaho -- Albertsons here said it is implementing a new organizational structure at its Dallas-Fort Worth division designed to eliminate layers of management and streamline operations.The company said the new structure eliminates layers of management between the division president and frontline store associates. According to Larry Johnston, chairman, president and chief executive officer, "With

BOISE, Idaho -- Albertsons here said it is implementing a new organizational structure at its Dallas-Fort Worth division designed to eliminate layers of management and streamline operations.

The company said the new structure eliminates layers of management between the division president and frontline store associates. According to Larry Johnston, chairman, president and chief executive officer, "With fewer management layers and wider spans of control, our division team will be able to improve store-level execution, lower costs, and react more quickly to the needs of our customers."

Albertsons declined to provide more specific details. Industry observers told SN the new structure eliminates some veteran field management personnel while concentrating on serving customers with less experienced people at store level.

"The chain will be utilizing technology to get a better feel for product movement data because with better information, Albertsons can have a broader span of control and do more cost-cutting," one industry analyst told SN. "But I sense this will give the stores more of a cookie-cutter approach, with younger, more compliant managers who are more willing to take direction from the top rather than more seasoned people who are less compliant."

Elements of the new structure have been tested in the chain's Rocky Mountain division, and the president of that division -- Judy Spires -- has been named president as well of the Dallas-Fort Worth division. She succeeds Wayne Denningham, who has left the company. Joining Spires in the new structure will be what Albertsons termed "a high-performance team of leaders" assembled from across the company's major food and drug banners.

Spires, a 28-year industry veteran, spent most of her career with Acme Markets, Albertsons' Philadelphia-based division, before being named 18 months ago to oversee the chain's Rocky Mountain division.

The Dallas-Fort Worth division encompasses 222 stores across Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Nebraska; the Rocky Mountain division includes 73 stores in Colorado, Wyoming and South Dakota.