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Publix Super Markets announced yesterday that it will acquire 49 Florida stores from Albertsons LLC. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the transaction is scheduled to close by September.

The stores include with 15 locations in North Florida, 30 locations in Central Florida and four locations in South Florida, in communities that include Bradenton, Clearwater, Ft. Myers, Gainesville, Jupiter, Longwood, Naples, Orlando, Pensacola, Seminole, St. Petersburg, Tallahassee and Tampa. The acquisition will allow Publix to operate four stores in Escambia, located near Pensacola, a new market area for the company.

In a prepared statement, Publix CEO Ed Crenshaw said, “The demand for the high-quality service our associate owners provide gives us the opportunity to reinvest in these communities by acquiring these additional sites for Publix stores. We continue to focus on being the premier food retailer in the areas in which we operate.”

The company said that “grand opening dates for all locations will depend on the scope of the remodels.”

Publix also said in a statement that it “encourages impacted Albertson’s employees with a passion for food and a commitment to customer service to apply for employment.”

The Albertsons LLC stores are part of the company that was not acquired by Supervalu when it bought out most of Albertsons in 2006. In its own press release about the sale of the Florida stores, Albertsons LLC noted that it “is working to become the favorite food and drug retailer in every market it serves,” though the number of markets that it serves and stores hat it operates are dwindling.

KC's View:
Shoppers will be well-served by this change. One cannot imagine, however, that this will make life any easier for Winn-Dixie.