SAN FRANCISCO-Albertson’s Inc. says that northern California is a strategic market for the company’s future growth, and will invest 200% more funds in 2002 into new stores and remodels than in 2001.

In 2001, Albertson’s spent approximately $60 million on new grocery stores and renovations. Next year it plans to invest $185 million. The company will capitalize on its already strong store base with the renovation of approximately 23 stores. Several additional new stores and fuel centers are also planned for 2002.

“Albertson’s will build shareowner value by investing in the renovation of existing assets and strengthening our market share in northern California,” says Larry Johnston, Albertson’s chief executive officer and chairman of the board. “Northern California is a strategic market in the context of Albertson’s future. We are committed to this division, and look forward to continuing to meet the needs of the area.”

As evidence of this significant Northern California capital commitment in the last several months, Albertson’s grand opened three new stores, in San Jose, El Cerrito and Hayward, and completed two store renovations.

“Our 17,000 Northern California associates are energized knowing that the Company is making this significant investment in our stores,” says Mike Patton, Albertson’s Northern California division president. “Our company’s demonstrated and planned capital commitment is an encouragement to our team as we continue serving our customers and working to become Northern California’s food and drug retailer of choice.”

A division of Albertson’s, Inc., Albertson’s Northern California operates 187 stores and is headquartered in San Leandro.

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