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Trailer: Supermarket News Retailer of the Year: Albertsons

SN offers a sneak peek of our upcoming Retailer of the Year coverage

For supermarket giant Albertsons Cos., the next chapter in the company’s strategic transformation is just beginning.

In the wake of the terminated Rite Aid merger deal, and the completion of the lengthy Safeway integration, Albertsons has emerged as a more efficient, modern company. 

Vivek Sankaran, who took the reins as CEO in April 2019, has zeroed in on the retailer’s strengths: strong local store banners, a national scale, a burgeoning e-commerce business, a thriving private-label portfolio and the growing just for U loyalty program.

“I saw it as a great opportunity to take a company with such a good foundation and accelerate its transformation,” Sankaran said.

Through the fiscal 2020 first quarter, Albertsons has seen 10 straight quarters of comparable sales growth and achieved market share gains versus key competitors. The company has fueled expansion of its Own Brands and rewards programs and refreshed stores, led by a compelling fresh food offering. 

“We’ve established some great history there,” Chief Operations Officer Susan Morris said of Albertsons’ fresh food departments.

Digital sales also have boomed, as the company continues to bolster its technology prowess. 

“Albertsons is taking a customer-first approach to its digital transformation,” said Chris Rupp, chief customer and digital officer.

Importantly, Albertsons has executed during the COVID-19 pandemic — a time of heightened customer need. And on June 26, Albertsons began trading on the New York Stock Exchange after several recent attempts to go public.

“We are quickly becoming a 21st century retailer,” said Chief Merchandising Officer Geoff White. “And the transformation started when Vivek started.” 

For its impressive resurgence, innovation and dexterous transition to an omnichannel strategy, Albertsons Cos. has been named as the 2020 Retailer of the Year by Supermarket News.

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