by Andrew Crisp
Supervalu, the parent company of Albertsons stores in Idaho and other parts of the West, announced it will close 60 stores by the end of February.
The news comes after the Eden Prairie, Minn., company fired CEO Craig Herkert, three years after he was hired. Supervalu has struggled to pay off debt and cut costs, with earnings tumbling 45 percent in the latest financial quarter.
The store closures will generate between $80 million and $90 million in cash. Twenty-seven of those stores will be underperforming Albertsons locations, including 19 in Southern California and eight in Washington and Oregon.
An additional eight closures would take place elsewhere, but Supervalu officials were quiet about locations, citing additional contract negotiations.
All 34 Albertsons locations in Idaho will remain open. Supervalu employs approximately 2,300 workers in Idaho, in addition to approximately 1,000 employees at the company's Boise headquarters. However, Supervalu has laid off approximately 150 Boise employees at the corporate level in the past several years, including outsourcing information technology positions in October 2011.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Supervalu will have 228 stores in California after the closures.
The grocery chain started by Treasure Valley businessman Joe Albertson in 1939 was acquired by Supervalu in 2006. Albertson opened his first store at 16th and State streets in Boise before expanding across Idaho and other Western states.
Supervalu stock was trading at $2.30 this morning, up 0.02 percent at 8 a.m.