Supermarket News has selected Albertsons Cos., the nation’s second-largest supermarket operator, as its Retailer of the Year for 2020.
The past year has seen Albertsons successfully go public, spur growth and innovation in strategic areas such as e-commerce and private brands, and refresh its store base, among other initiatives. The result: improved customer loyalty, a resurgent financial performance and market share gains.
More recently, the Boise, Idaho-based company has effectively adapted to the vast changes brought by the coronavirus pandemic, implementing comprehensive protections for customers and employees as well as advocating for grocery workers to be designated as emergency first responders during the crisis.
“There have been an unprecedented series of events this year that have impacted all of us, and certainly the grocery industry,” said Michael Browne, executive editor of Supermarket News. “But heading into 2020 and through the turbulent year so far, Albertsons has stayed the course with its sales momentum; its immediate strong response to COVID-19; its efforts to promote diversity, equality and inclusion; its technology and branding advances; and its ability to pivot and innovate in a very challenging time. For those reasons, Supermarket News is proud to announce Albertsons as our Retailer of the Year for 2020.”
Vivek Sankaran, president and CEO of Albertsons Cos. (Photo courtesy of Albertsons)
The annual Supermarket News Retailer of the Year honor is chosen by the SN editorial team and goes to the grocery retailer that best exemplifies a spirit of innovation and excellence.
“Our special Retailer of the Year print issue in September will include an in-depth cover story on Albertsons plus accompanying online coverage and digital elements at supermarketnews.com, all highlighting the successes that Albertsons has achieved during this very unusual year,” Browne said.
Now under the stewardship of former Pepsi Foods North America CEO Vivek Sankaran, who joined Albertsons as president and CEO in April 2019, the retailer has made great strides in expanding its Own Brands portfolio, leveraging technology, extending the reach of its online grocery services, building an omnichannel infrastructure, growing its loyalty program, and enhancing its health and wellness offerings. The company finished its 2019 fiscal year with nine straight quarters of identical-sales increases and digital sales growth of 39%.
“With the tremendous challenges faced by everyone in the retail industry since the beginning of 2020, it is a remarkable time to be named Retailer of the Year,” Sankaran said. “On behalf of the Albertsons Cos. team across our 2,200-plus stores, we are honored to be recognized with this award by Supermarket News. Our team is focused on growth, productivity, technology and culture, and through that framework, we are earning customer loyalty and delivering an easy, exciting and friendly shopping experience to our customers, whether they shop with us in our stores or online.”
Albertsons stands at No. 4 by sales and No. 12 by stores on SN’s 2020 list of the top 75 grocery retailers and wholesalers. Overall, Albertsons has 2,252 food and drug stores in 34 states and the District of Columbia under such banners as Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Carrs, Jewel-Osco, Acme, Shaw’s, Star Market, United Supermarkets, Market Street and Haggen. The company also operates 1,726 pharmacies, 402 fuel centers, 23 distribution centers and 20 manufacturing plants.