Supervalu implements "strategic" job cuts

MINNEAPOLIS — Supervalu continues to implement its strategic plan to remove permanent expenses and cut down operating costs with plans to reduce its national work force by an estimated 800 positions. The affected positions include those at all company offices and crosses most departments, excluding, for the most part, store level associates. Associates whose positions are eliminated will be eligible for severance and outplacement services based on the company's eligibility guidelines.

Supervalu said the reductions will take place by the end of the company's fiscal year on Feb. 25 and will include both current positions and open jobs that will not be filled.

“These reductions are necessary to help further strengthen and accelerate Supervalu’s business turnaround in a very competitive marketplace,” said Craig Herkert, Supervalu's CEO and president. “While the announcement of a work force reduction is difficult news to share, due to its direct impact on our associates, these changes will allow us to better connect with customers and put more authority in the hands of people who interact more closely with our customers.”

Supervalu's strategic plan, which it introduced last year, focuses heavily on improving its retail business through planned price reductions and an emphasis on hyperlocal retailing at its more than 1,100 traditional retail stores across the country. In addition, the company said it remains focused on investing capital into the growth of Save-A-Lot, its national, hard discount grocery store chain, as well as continuing to expand its wholesale distribution business to its more than 2,000 independent retailers nationwide.

In its most recent quarter, Supervalu reported a wider net loss on larger write-down’s and weaker sales. The company reported a net loss of $750 million, including non-cash goodwill and intangible asset impairment charges of $800 million after-tax, from a loss of $202 million a year ago. Same-store sales fell 2.9%, while net sales fell 4% to $8.33 billion, below analysts' average forecast of $8.42 billion.

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