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Albertsons to close most of its Florida grocery stores | News

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Albertsons to close most of its Florida grocery stores

PORT ST. LUCIE, Florida (CBS12) -- Hundreds of Albertsons employees got some bad news. Albertsons informed employees Tuesday that it will close the majority of its stores in Florida in a few weeks. Only a handful of Albertsons stores in the Sunshine State will remain open.

In the Tampa Bay area, the Albertsons in Sarasota, Valrico, Bradenton and Venice will close. The Albertsons in Clearwater and Largo will remain open.

Also closing is a distribution center located in Plant City.

Erika Boady works in the bakery department at the Albertsons store in Port St. Lucie. Boady is married with a 2-year-old daughter. She just found out she'll soon be out of a job.

"It's disappointing because you know loyal people that come here all the time that are loyal to us, they're gonna be upset and so are we. But we had a good run," said Boady.

The Albertsons  where she has worked for the past  four years is closing in June.  The store opened in 2000, and has 90 employees.

"Some were visibly upset of course.You know it was quite a shock to most people. But me personally I was just, what can you do?" said Boady.

"I was shocked. Shocked as an employee. I was really shocked actually," said Austin Juillet, Albertsons employee.

All told, Albertsons is closing 13 supermarkets in Florida along with its distribution center in Plant City. That'll put 1,100 people out of work.

"Our best efforts over the last several years have been up against an unprecedented and unanticipated economic decline and the rising cost of doing business, everything from fuel to paying utilities, has made our job here that much more difficult," said Christine Willcox, Albertsons spokeswoman.

The Vero Beach Albertsons, which opened in 1984, is also closing, and that will put 74 people out of work. Customers at the Port St. Lucie Albertsons were surprised to learn the store will soon be shut down.

"I hate to see it go,  it's a great store."

"Oh wow. That's bad. That's very bad. I don't know why they're doing it, but  it's a beautiful store here."

One Albertsons employee told CBS 12 some co-workers were in tears when they got the news today. He says management knew three months ago these stores would close. He feels they should have warned employees a long time ago, so they would have more time to find new jobs.

He says employees will get one week of severance pay for each year they've worked for Albertsons, and the maximum severance pay any employee can get is 12 weeks.

The following is a list of Albertsons stores. All locations but the Key West store will have a liquidation sale beginning May 9 and close around June 9; the Key West store will begin its liquidation on April 11 and close April 28.

  • Tuscawilla & Red Bug Lake (Winter Springs)
  • Apopka - Vineland & Conroy (Orlando)
  • Key West 
  • Venice
  • Casselberry (Longwood)
  • Manatee & 75th (Bradenton)
  • Vero Beach
  • Piedmont - Wekiva & Sr 436 (Apopka)
  • Lake Mary
  • Lithia - Pinecrest & Bloomingdale (Valrico)
  • Lockwood Ridge & University (Sarasota)
  • St Lucie West (Port Saint Lucie)
  • Rock Springs & Welch (Apopka)

Stores that will remain open:

  • Gulf-To-Bay & Belcher (Clearwater)
  • Altamonte Springs
  • Oakland Park
  • Ulmerton & Alternate 19 (Largo)

Manatee County Businesses