Save Mart Mulls Albertsons Store Closures

MODESTO, Calif. Save Mart Supermarkets here is still kicking the tires and looking under the hood at the Albertsons stores it acquired in late February before deciding whether to close some of them and how to re-banner the rest. There are a number of the Albertsons stores on our watch list, Bob Piccinini, chairman and chief executive officer, told SN. If you look at them based on their results under

MODESTO, Calif. — Save Mart Supermarkets here is still kicking the tires and looking under the hood at the Albertsons stores it acquired in late February before deciding whether to close some of them and how to re-banner the rest.

“There are a number of the Albertsons stores on our watch list,” Bob Piccinini, chairman and chief executive officer, told SN.

“If you look at them based on their results under Albertsons' management, then those locations might be candidates for closing,” he said. “But before we make that decision, we want to get into those stores with our programs and begin to understand them better and see if the results improve.

“To close a bunch of them without understanding them would be a shotgun approach that would make no sense.”

Piccinini said it could be several months before Save Mart determines whether it wants to close any of the Albertsons stores.

A decision on whether it will put a name on them other than the two it already uses — Save Mart and Food Maxx — also could be months away, he said.

“That's something we're trying to work out internally, but we haven't come to any conclusions yet regarding the name,” Piccinini indicated.

Save Mart acquired 130 Albertsons stores in northern California and northern Nevada from Albertsons LLC.

It has already begun the process of closing some of its own stores and re-bannering some nearby Albertsons stores under the Save Mart name, Piccinini pointed out.

The company is converting several Albertsons stores in the Fresno area to the Save Mart banner, after which it plans to close two existing Save Marts there, he noted, “because the Albertsons stores are bigger, newer and better, while our stores are tired.

“But we need to convert the Albertsons stores in Fresno to the Save Mart name before we close our stores.”