SALT LAKE CITY — Associated Food Stores here is seeing volume increases at the former Albertsons stores it acquired 14 months ago, "and we're working now on building the brand," Dick King, senior vice president of the cooperative, told SN Tuesday.
Of 34 stores Associated acquired, 28 are operating under the Fresh Market banner, "and it's taking awhile for the name to catch on because people thought the stores were stll being operated by Albertsons under another name," King explained.
Two of the 34 stores that originally reopened under the Fresh Market banner and were subsequently closed have been sold to Macey's, an Associated customer — one in Lehigh, south of Salt Lake, that is scheduled to reopen March 30; and one in Clinton, north of Salt Lake, that reopened last year.
"Macey's is strong in that part of the city, and at 60,000 square feet, the Lehigh store is a good fit for their warehouse-style shelving," King noted.
Of the remaining four stores, one in downtown Salt Lake was converted earlier this month to a Hispanic format called Viva by an Associated customer, King said.
Since none of Associated's members was interested in acquiring any of the remaining three stores, those locations have been offered to other buyers, with negotiations under way on two of them, King said.