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BOISE, Idaho - Albertsons Inc. laid off an undisclosed number of employees at its Boise headquarters late last week, citing an "ultra-competitive" environment and the need to lower costs, reports The Idaho Statesman.
The company did not reveal how many of the 2,000 corporate employees lost their jobs or which departments were affected.
Bob Toomey, an analyst with RBC Dain Rauscher in Seattle, told the newspaper that all of the nation's major supermarket chains are facing competitive pressures from Wal-Mart. "They're not alone," he said of Albertsons. "Its competitors are facing the same situation. It's a broader issue with the grocery industry."
Albertsons' chairman and c.e.o., Larry Johnston, recently told The Idaho Statesman that the company has had to lower prices and spend more on promotions. He said the company would accelerate its cost-cutting efforts and put every aspect of the company through an even more "rigorous" screen to keep added costs from cutting too deeply into corporate profits.
"There will be no sacred cows," Johnston said last month. "Everything has to be looked at in the cold light of day."
The last major layoff at the company's headquarters occurred in the summer of 2001, according to the newspaper.
The company is in the process of cutting $750 million in costs by the end of 2004, but Johnston said last month that the company hopes to accelerate that goal.