January 11, 2010

AlbertsonÕs Closure of Florida Stores Includes Two Key Kosher Locations

Boca Raton…Two of the eight stores that the Albertson’s chain will be closing have full kosher sections, affecting thousands of kosher consumers. The stores in Boca Raton and Delray Beach were considered amongst the nation’s busiest kosher locations, sources told KosherToday. While Albertson’s says that the closures were due to financial reasons, the sources say that Albertson’s “is more interested in the real estate than in the grocery business especially when they are not making as much money as they want.” It was in 2006 that Albertson’s was sold to a consortium of investors made up of Supervalu, CVS Corporation and an investor group led by Cerberus Capital Management. While most of the “kosher stores” reverted to Supervalu and the kosher program was directed by Yakov Yarmove, the original Albertson’s retained some of the stores, including those in Florida. Several kosher distributors said that the closures will most definitely leave a void but said that independents like Kosher Marketplace in Boca Raton and Glick’s in Delray Beach would be the beneficiaries. “For once,” said a distributor, “the shoe is on the other foot as supermarkets are closing and independents gain.” The distributor said that he had heard that the property was being sold but another source told KosherToday that he wouldn’t be surprised “if another supermarket came into at least one of the locations.” Both of the Albertson’s supermarkets were under the kosher certification of the Orthodox Union (OU) with a team of mashgichim in each.