Albertsons LLC announced Sept. 9 that it acquired United Supermarkets, which runs 50 grocery stores as well as 26 fuel centers in western and northern Texas. The United chain, which had been family-owned since 1916, also has two distribution centers, a prepared foods manufacturer, and a tobacco, candy and general merchandise distributor.
Albertsons spokeswoman Christine Wilcox said the company wouldn’t disclose the financial terms of the deal. She said there will be no immediate changes to staffing levels at Albertsons or United. United CEO Robert Taylor will become president of United, which will operate as a new business unit in Albertsons’ corporate structure.
The acquisition could help connect Albertsons stores in New Mexico with its stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, which is roughly 300 miles to the east of Lubbock, where United is headquartered.
“To pick up United really is the missing piece of the bridge going west,” said supermarket analyst Burt P. Flickinger III, managing director of Strategic Resource Group. He called the acquisition a superb strategic decision for Albertsons.
“It gives Albertsons more size and scale in that market,” he said. “Earlier, Albertsons had been closing stores in the Texas market. This adds a very strong group of stores in an important growth region for Albertsons. It’s an area, because of energy exploration, that’s a good potential growth market.”
Albertsons CEO Bob Miller said in a news release that the two companies are a good fit.
“We’ve learned over the last seven years that our decentralized operating strategy empowers local management to build stronger brands across diverse market areas,” he said.
Albertsons LLC acquired Albertsons stores in Idaho in January as part of a $3.3 billion deal in which Supervalu, which acquired Albertsons stores in 2006, sold stores to a group of investors led by Cerberus Capital Management LP, a private investment company. Albertsons has 33 stores in Idaho and approximately 3,800 to 4,000 employees in Idaho, according to Wilcox.
Taylor said United will continue to make decisions locally as part of Albertsons’ decentralized structure.
“We are all very excited to be joining the Albertson’s family, which will provide us tremendous opportunities to invest in our stores and grow,” he said in a news release.