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    Albertsons to Introduce Office Depot 'Store Within a Store'

    BOISE, Idaho -- Office Depot, Inc., a Delray beach, Fla.-based reseller of office products, and Albertsons today announced a retailing agreement in which Office Depot initially will provide office and school supplies to 18 Albertsons stores in three markets (Chicago, Los Angeles, and Phoenix).

    BOISE, Idaho -- Office Depot, Inc., a Delray beach, Fla.-based reseller of office products, and Albertsons today announced a retailing agreement in which Office Depot initially will provide office and school supplies to 18 Albertsons stores in three markets (Chicago, Los Angeles, and Phoenix).

    As part of the pilot program, Office Depot's "store within a store" environment will feature an assortment of more than 700 products -- ranging from ink jet cartridges, copier paper, and writing instruments to mailing and school supplies. The Albertsons stores in the pilot project operate under the Albertsons, Jewel-Osco, Albertsons-Osco, Sav-on Drugs, and Osco Drug banners.

    "Office Depot is delighted to work with Albertsons on this strategic initiative that will leverage both of our well-known brands in large and important retail markets," said Bruce Nelson, chairman and c.e.o. of Office Depot. "We believe it is a winning proposition not just for us and Albertsons, but also for our customers, who appreciate the convenience of buying quality office and school supplies at the places they shop most often -- their neighborhood supermarkets and drug stores."

    "We see our relationship with Office Depot as another significant step in our customer-focused growth strategy," said Larry Johnston, Albertsons chairman and c.e.o. "The Office Depot name is synonymous with quality, value, and reliability in the office-supply sector. Shoppers make 1.4 billion trips a year to our stores, and we will be offering them an opportunity to choose from a vast selection of office and school supplies to add to their shopping carts."

    As part of its new brand promise of "working harder to make life easier" for its customers, Albertsons has entered into the first of a few selective partnerships with noncompetitive brand product companies. Earlier this year the company announced the opening of Toys "R" Us "Toy Box" departments in all of its stores. Albertsons' successful partnership with Krispy Kreme donuts has generated among the largest sales numbers for Krispy Kreme outside that company's own stores, and Albertsons also continues to see positive sales momentum from its relationship with Starbucks coffee.

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