Eight of the stores are in the Puget Sound area, five in South Sound.
The majority of the stores are expected to close before Dec. 1, according to a Supervalu news release.
The chain will close Albertson’s supermarkets in Lacey, Sumner, Auburn, Kent, Marysville and Kirkland, said Albertson’s spokeswoman Lilia Rodriguez. It will close Save-A-Lots in Tacoma and Port Orchard.
Workers in those stores, most covered by union contracts, will receive severance benefits or bumping rights to other stores as specified in their labor agreements.
The closures are an attempt by the Eden Prairie, Minn. grocery concern, the nation’s third largest, to turn around its struggling business.
“These decisions are never easy because of the impact a store closure has on our team members, our customers, and our communities,” said Wayne Sales, Supervalu’s president, chief executive officer and chairman. “Today’s announcement reflects our commitment to move with a greater sense of urgency to reduce costs and improve shareholder value.”
The company’s first-quarter profits, reported in June, fell by half, and the company replaced CEO Craig Herkert with Sales. Sales had been serving as Supervalu’s chairman.
The nation’s traditional large grocery chains such as Supervalu have been faced with new competition from discount chains such as Walmart and Target and even drug stores that now are offering convenience store-sized grocery sections in their stores.
The company says it expects the store closures to result in a noncash, pre-tax charge of $80 million to $90 million for its fiscal 2013. The closures are expected to generate $35 million in cash in the next year and between $80 million and $90 million in the next three years.
The 60 stores scheduled to close are a small fraction of the 4,400 stores Supervalu operates under half-a-dozen brand names across the nation.
Supervalu shares rose 2 cents to close at $2.26.