“How can they say it’s not making money?” Bowman, 59, wondered Thursday about Supervalu’s decision to close the Lacey store, pointing out that it always seems to have 30-40 parked cars in the lot and gets crowded about 5 p.m.
Minnesota-based Supervalu is closing 60 underperforming stores either before the end of the year or by February, the end of the company’s fiscal year, said Albertsons spokeswoman Lilia Rodriguez.
Stores also are set to close in Bonney Lake, North Auburn and Kent. Another division of Supervalu, Sav-A-Lot, will close stores in Tacoma and Port Orchard.
A specific number of employees at the Lacey store was not disclosed, although Albertsons tends to employ 50 to 100 workers per store, depending on its size, Rodriguez said.
The Lacey store is at 6100 Pacific Ave. and measures 45,548 square feet, Thurston County Assessor’s Office data show. It was built in 1992 and occupies a 5-acre site. New Albertsons Inc. is listed as the store’s owner. Rodriguez said Albertsons owns or leases its store properties.
Employees are represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers union, Rodriguez said. Workers with seniority will have “bumping rights” that will allow them to move into another position, although that won’t save every job, she said.
“Bottom line: there will be layoffs,” Rodriguez said.
Briana Owens of Lacey shopped at the Lacey store Thursday, visiting for only the second time. She said she prefers Fred Meyer in Lacey because the cost of groceries tends to be lower.
Increased competition in the area might have contributed to Supervalu’s decision to close the store. In addition to Fred Meyer, Safeway is across the street from the Lacey Albertsons and it’s not far from WinCo, the employee-owned grocery store business that opened on Martin Way in 2010.
Bill Smith of Olympia picked up a donation of excess sweets from the store Thursday. He delivers the cakes and pies to the Lacey Senior Center. Smith said he has been picking up the donations once a week for two months. After the store closes, the Senior Center will have to find a new destination for donated food products, he said.