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Albertson’s Closing Four Local Stores

Mid-range grocer Albertson’s is closing 11 markets in Southern California, including four in the Valley area. Albertson’s, owned by an investor group led by New York private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP, will complete the closures by the end of February, according to Lilia M. Rodriguez, spokeswoman for Albertson’s Southern California division. The local outlets set to close are in Woodland Hills, Moorpark, Valencia and Canyon Country. Liquidation sales begin Wednesday. “The truth is, they were underperforming stores and not good places for future profits,” Rodigruez said. Each store employs between 50 to 75 employees, and the company will try to place as many workers as possible in other positions, Rodriguez said. After the closures, the chain will have about a dozen groceries remaining in the greater Valley region, including in Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks and Burbank. Albertson’s has struggled in recent years as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of Bentonville, Ark. and Costco Corp. of Issaquah, Wash. have undercut it on pricing. That added competition lead to Supervalu Inc. of Eden Prairie, Minn., the previous owner of Albertson’s, to close nearly 20 locations in Southern California in late 2012. Cerberus bought the company in March of last year for about $100 million in cash plus the assumption of about $3.2 billion in debt. Cerberus is closing 26 stores nationwide, leaving Albertson’s with 1,069 stores that employ about 110,000 workers.

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