Area Albertsons to change ownership | SierraSun.com

Area Albertsons to change ownership

Joanna HartmanSierra Sun

Beginning in February, Save Mart Supermarkets will take over more than 100 Albertsons stores in the region, including stores in Tahoe City and Truckee.Albertsons made the decision to sell on an unsolicited offer from Save Mart because it was right for both employees and the business, said Stacia Levenfeld, spokesperson for Albertsons LLC.Save Mart, a Modesto-based chain, is buying 132 Albertsons grocery stores throughout Northern California and Nevada.The stores will continue to be called Albertsons for the first six months, said Alicia Rockwell, spokesperson for Save Mart. A decision will then be made about branding the stores.The changeover is planned for the end of February, according to reports. For customers, everything will remain the same for the few months following the close of the deal.Save Mart plans to retain the 13,000 affected Albertsons employees, Rockwell said. The Tahoe City Albertsons store has about 50 employees and Truckee has 27, according to the stores managers.Associates come with the purchase and become Save Mart employees at the close of the sale, Rockwell said.Rockwell said in the six months following the February buy-out, there will be few changes for current Albertsons employees, including the carryover of their union contracts. Beyond the six months, however, Rockwell said she could not confirm what would occur with the union contract.Theres no indication that anything will substantially change in regards to the associates, Rockwell said.Save Mart will more than double the number of their stores. They currently operate 124 stores in California. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed by the companies.Before the deal, Albertsons was the countrys second largest supermarket chain. Industry publications attribute the break-up to influences of giant retailers like Wal-mart as it moves into the grocery and produce market.The Boise-based Albertsons LLC was sold for $9.7 billion in June to a consortium including grocery-store chain Supervalu Inc., CVS, Cerberus Capital Management and Kimco Realty. New York-based Cerberus said it sold its Northern California locations to Save Mart but still has other stores throughout the West.The Associated Press and The Union contributed to the story.