AMERICAN TO CONSOLIDATE ITS NONFOOD DEPOTS IN CALIFORNIA

SALT LAKE CITY -- American Stores Co. will close four southern California nonfood warehouses and consolidate them in one nonfood depot by the end of this year.The company has begun transferring general merchandise and health and beauty care from these warehouses to an 850,000-square-foot warehouse in La Habra, Calif., which American had been leasing to a third party. The new facility is expected to

SALT LAKE CITY -- American Stores Co. will close four southern California nonfood warehouses and consolidate them in one nonfood depot by the end of this year.

The company has begun transferring general merchandise and health and beauty care from these warehouses to an 850,000-square-foot warehouse in La Habra, Calif., which American had been leasing to a third party. The new facility is expected to be fully operational by year's end, said Dan Zvonek, director of public and investor relations. The warehouses slated for closing are all in the Los Angeles area, he stated.

The transition to one nonfood depot in its West Coast division is in line with American's further implementation of its Delta (re-engineering) initiative to transform itself from a holding company to a unified operating company.

"These consolidation efforts reflect further implementation of our initiatives," said Vic Lund, chairman and chief executive officer.

The initiative, begun in 1994, is to leverage the size of the company and develop common systems and processes in its procurement, warehousing, logistics and store operations and administration, to eliminate costs.

The new warehouse will supply a total of 800 stores, of which about 450 are supermarkets, including Lucky Stores in southern and northern California, and Jewel Osco units in New Mexico. The balance of business will be with Sav-on drug units.

In addition to nonfood, the warehouse will supply wine and beverages, according to Zvonek.

American Stores operates a total of 813 food stores and 848 drug stores.