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Albertsons Announces Plans To Sell 23 Oklahoma Stores

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Albertsons LLC announced plans Tuesday to sell 23 of its Oklahoma grocery stores to four different retailers by the end of July as part of a cost-cutting move.

Albertsons also said it plans to sell its Fort Worth Distribution Center to Associated Wholesale Grocers. Terms of the sales were not disclosed.

``Selling these assets to AWG and its member retailers allows Albertsons LLC to ensure employment for the vast majority of our impacted associates with a strong national distribution company and regional grocery operators focused on the Oklahoma marketplace,'' Albertsons President and CEO Bob Miller said in a statement.

Edmond-based Homeland Stores will purchase seven Albertsons grocery stores located in Oklahoma City, Norman, Bethany and Muskogee, along with the Sav-On Pharmacies located inside the stores.

Springfield, Mo.-based RPCS Inc. said it plans to acquire nine Albertsons stores, along with three gas stations, in Tulsa, Ponca City, Bartlesville and Stillwater.

Six Albertsons stores will be purchased by Tuttle-based Williams Discount Foods. Those locations include two in Oklahoma City, one in Yukon, one in Edmond, one in Del City and one in Midwest City.

Tahlequah-based Reasor's Inc. will purchase one Tulsa store.

Albertsons plans to close its remaining three stores in Tulsa, Owasso and Midwest City later this summer.

Ron Edgmon, president and CEO of the Oklahoma Grocers Association, said the acquisitions are good news for Oklahoma consumers.

``Albertsons has been kind of a lame duck in Oklahoma since their sale,'' Edgmon said. ``These new owners are going to be putting a lot of emphasis on these stores in Oklahoma. It will help those locations retain their business.

``The consumers will benefit from the purchase, I promise.''

Albertsons Inc. stores, including 31 in Oklahoma, were sold in 2006 to a consortium made up of Minneapolis-based Supervalu Inc., CVS Corp. of Rhode Island and New York-based Cerberus Capital Management. Cerberus Capital operates Albertsons LLC, owner of the Oklahoma stores.

Albertsons currently employs more than 47,000 associates in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming.

For RPCS, the new stores will be the company's first properties in Oklahoma.

``Since 1919, we have been building a family of supermarkets, employees, and customers in southwest Missouri, and we could not be more excited to extend that family into Oklahoma,'' Erick Taylor, RPCS' president and CEO said in a statement.

Once the Homeland deal is completed, the company will operate 69 stores in Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri, including 51 in Oklahoma.

``We admire the job Albertsons is doing and we want to continue to build on their strengths of superior perishables, great customer service, and professional pharmacy care,'' Darryl Fitzgerald, Homeland CEO, said in a statement. ``We respect the loyalty of Albertsons customers and we intend to make this a seamless transition. It will be business as usual and customers will see minimal changes in the stores.''

Supermarkets to be purchased by RPCS, Inc. include:
  • 3328 E. 51st St., Tulsa

  • 4818 E. 80th St., South, Tulsa

  • 7990 E. 51st St., Tulsa

  • 3915 S. Peoria, Tulsa

  • 10122 S. Memorial Dr., Tulsa

  • 11214 E. 71st St., South, Tulsa

  • 2501 S.E. Washington Blvd., Bartlesville

  • 2005 N. 14th, Suite 110, Ponca City

  • 421 N. Main, Stillwater
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