Remodels Boost Albertsons: Noddle

NEW YORK Supervalu is seeing more upside from remodeling its Albertsons stores in Southern California than it anticipated when it acquired them, Jeff Noddle, chairman and chief executive officer, said here last week. Most of those stores had not been touched in 10 years, he said at the Bear Stearns 13th Annual Retail, Restaurant & Consumer Conference. Albertsons had put money into technology and systems

NEW YORK — Supervalu is seeing more upside from remodeling its Albertsons stores in Southern California than it anticipated when it acquired them, Jeff Noddle, chairman and chief executive officer, said here last week.

“Most of those stores had not been touched in 10 years,” he said at the Bear Stearns 13th Annual Retail, Restaurant & Consumer Conference.

“Albertsons had put money into technology and systems but not much against consumers. But from the early results we've seen [after remodeling some of those stores], there are greater opportunities than we thought.”

Noddle said the Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets that Tesco plans to open in Southern California, Phoenix and Las Vegas beginning later this year will probably not impact Supervalu's retail operations for a couple of years.

“We think Tesco will have a tough road because they are starting green, with no established locations and no infrastructure, so we don't think those stores will have much effect on us this year or next, though we must pay attention to them in the years after that,” he said. Tesco's approach to growth is “a little confusing,” he said, given its plan to open locations “all over the demographic marketplace.”

Noddle also said Supervalu has launched a new advertising campaign at three of its formats — Albertsons in Southern California, Acme Markets in Philadelphia and Shaw's in New England — built around the slogan, “Never underestimate the power of a good meal. Albertsons [or Acme or Shaw's]: crazy about food.”

The spots focus on the role food plays every day, he explained.