Although the first Albertsons grocery store was opened by Joe Albertson in Boise, Idaho, in 1939, many of the banners now under the Albertsons umbrella have even longer histories — Acme in 1891, Jewel in 1899, Safeway in 1914 and United in 1916. Today, Albertsons operates 2,277 retail stores in 34 states and the District of Columbia under such banners as Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw's, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen, Carrs, Kings Food Markets and Balducci’s Food Lovers Market. It is the second-largest supermarket chain in the United States by sales and store count, following The Kroger Co.
With its expansive store presence, online grocery initiatives, delivery and curbside pickup, Albertsons is a model of today’s omnichannel retailer. In 2020, Albertsons achieved more than 200% digital sales growth in each quarter during the year. Its Drive Up & Go service is now available at 1,420 stores and the company expects to reach 2,000 stores by the end of fiscal 2021. The retailer is piloting tests of “walk up and go” e-commerce options such as in-store pickup counters and lockers and outdoor stand-alone kiosks, while refining and expanding its micro-fulfillment center (MFC) operations.
Albertsons added more than 1,200 products to its Own Brands private label portfolio in fiscal 2020, exceeding its target of 800 new items, including more plant-based and sustainably sourced items across all categories. Membership in Albertsons’ Just for U loyalty program grew over 20% year-over-year each quarter in fiscal 2020, reaching 24.5 million, with a 93.1% member retention rate. Just for U members spend 2.6 times more than non-enrolled customers, while the number of actively engaged customers — who spend nearly five times more — rose almost 10%.
The retailer, still based in Boise where its first store opened, is very focused on technology, including its partnerships with Adobe and Google for customer loyalty and personalization, and its continued advancement of its digital operations and robotics testing at stores and in distribution.
Headquarters: Boise, Idaho
CEO: Vivek Sankaran
Number of US store locations: 2,277
Banners: Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw's, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen, Carrs, Kings Food Markets and Balducci’s Food Lovers Market
Number of US employees: Approx. 325,000
2020 Sales: $69.7 billion