Friday, January 30, 2009

Albertsons lays off workers

Locally owned Atkinsonsí keeps employees

Express Staff Writer

Albertsons grocery store in Hailey is laying off employees due to the economic downturn. However, the number of the store's 104 workers that have been dismissed was not made available by the grocery store chain's public affairs department.

"We are adjusting our workforce to meet current economic needs," said Boise-based Albertsons spokeswoman Donna Eggers.

Eggers said the Hailey Albertsons is one of 33 Albertsons in Idaho owned by Supervalu Inc., which operates 520 grocery stores in the Western states.

The first Albertsons grocery store was opened in 1939 in Boise. Supervalu bought Albertsons Corp. in 2004, and operates a retail network of 2,500 stores nationwide, including Bristol Farms, Shop 'n Save and Jewel-Osco.

Atkinsons' Market, which was founded 53 years ago in Ketchum and now has stores in both Hailey and Bellevue, has retained all of its 280 employees despite the economic crisis.

"We are doing everything we can to keep our people happy," said co-owner Whit Atkinson, who said his company's revenues are down.

"Layoffs have not become an issue yet," he said.

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