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HOUSTON - Albertson's is closing five stores in the Houston area and is expected to sell another five stores to Safeway in the final step of its exit from that market, the Houston Chronicle reports.
The addition of five stores would boost the number of Randalls stores, which are owned by Safeway, to 48 in Houston, based on the totals in a survey by the Shelby Report, according to the newspaper.
Randalls is second to Kroger in terms of market share in Houston, but that gap is widening since Kroger Co. has agreed to buy 16 of Albertson's stores.
Albertson's announced last month that it was pulling out of Houston. The company immediately closed 10 of its 43 area locations as part of a larger plan to eliminate 116 underperforming stores in Texas and Tennessee.
Houston-based distributor Grocers Supply Co. also has purchased four Albertson's locations, according to the Houston Chronicle. Grocers Supply will lease those locations to Lewis Food Town.