Albertsons Buys Into New Niche

Sep 22, 2004

By George Anderson

Albertsons is going upscale. Yesterday, the company announced it purchased Bristol Farms, the 11-store
gourmet grocery chain in Southern California.

“We are thrilled to welcome Bristol Farms to Albertsons’ world class family of stores,” said Larry Johnston, chairman, CEO and president of Albertsons, in a prepared statement. “Bristol Farms has clearly built a solid leadership position in the Southern California specialty, gourmet market segment with strong performance over the past several years. This acquisition is the latest example of our dedication to diversify into new formats that can accelerate growth, tap into new customer segments and maximize return on invested capital.”

Bristol Farms will continue to operate under its own banner and Albertsons announced the business
would continue to operate independently under the leadership of its president and chief executive officer, Kevin Davis.

Moderator’s Comment: What do you expect Albertsons to do with Bristol Farms? What should it do?

Zagat’s described Bristol Farms as “a shopper’s beautiful dream with wide aisles, helpful staff, and beautiful presentations.” There’s probably quite a
lot Bristol Farms can teach Albertsons about differentiation. Let’s hope Larry Johnston and the rest of the company are open to learning.

George Anderson – Moderator

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