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    Albertsons-Osco Combos to Move Across Southwest

    PHOENIX - Albertsons Inc. last week completed the conversion of its entire Phoenix base of 36 stores to Albertsons-Osco Food and Drug stores, and a key company executive said that the concept will be expanded throughout Arizona, New Mexico, and West Texas.

    PHOENIX - Albertsons Inc. last week completed the conversion of its entire Phoenix base of 36 stores to Albertsons-Osco Food and Drug stores, and a key company executive said that the concept will be expanded throughout Arizona, New Mexico, and West Texas.

    "Now that our dual-branding conversion in Phoenix is complete, we are announcing that we plan to spend approximately $500 million across our Southwest Division through 2005 to enhance our competitive position," said president and COO Peter Lynch.

    Phoenix is the fifth market in which Albertsons has developed dual-branded stores. Coupled with freestanding Osco Drugstores in Phoenix, the conversion increases Albertson's total drug store count to 95 units in the market. The dual-branded format was pioneered by the Jewel-Osco Division in Chicago.

    "This new half-billion dollar investment is an exciting announcement for our customers and associates," said Southwest Division president Jim Rice. "The investment will translate into thousands of new jobs."

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