Supervalu to close about 60 stores

LOS ANGELES, Sept 5 Wed Sep 5, 2012 4:39pm EDT

LOS ANGELES, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Supervalu Inc said it would close about 60 stores as it works to turn around its grocery business, which lags that of rivals Kroger Co and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Supervalu on Wednesday said it would close the majority of the "underperforming or non-strategic stores" before the end of its fiscal third quarter ending Dec. 1.

The stores slated to be shuttered include 27 Albertsons supermarkets located in Southern California and the Intermountain West region as well as 22 Save-A-Lot locations.

Supervalu expects to record a pre-tax charge of $80 million to $90 million in fiscal 2013 related to the closures, with all but $3 million in estimated severance costs being non-cash.

Over the next three years, the company estimates that closing the stores will generate between $80 million and $90 million in cash through real estate transactions, eliminating cash operating losses and selling departmental assets.

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