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On the second anniversary of its merger with Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway Inc., Albertsons Cos. Inc. is celebrating several accomplishments since the deal, including workforce growth, new stores, stepped-up donations and a stronger focus on sustainability.
When Albertsons parent AB Acquisition LLC combined with Safeway on Jan. 30, 2015, the combined entity included 2,230 stores and a team of 250,000 associates. The 19-banner company today is 26,000 people – roughly 10 percent – stronger, with a total workforce of 276,000. Moreover, many of the employees have spent their entire careers with Albertsons, Safeway or another Albertsons Cos. banner, with nearly 47,000 team members logging 20 years or more by the end of last year.
As for supporting neighborhoods, food donations nationwide topped $271 million last year, up from $245 million in 2015. Each store donates wholesome products to a local food bank, helping decrease food insecurity for many people who rely on these organizations. Additionally, most stores also conducted in-store food drives and other events throughout the year, and the company expanded its Fresh Rescue initiative, which donates meat and other perishables to hunger relief partners, to include more products and stores. For its commitment to hunger relief, Albertsons Cos. was recognized in 2016 as a Visionary Partner by Feeding America.
In addition, the Albertsons Cos. Foundation and the Entertainment Industry Foundation recently awarded $4.6 million in grants through Hunger Is, a joint charitable program designed to increase awareness and funds to end childhood hunger in America. It also supported education, cancer research, veteran support and programs for people with disabilities in 2016, contributing more than $25 million to these causes.
And with its commitment to sourcing and sustainability, Albertsons Cos. continued in 2016 with a number of initiatives. During the first quarter, the company committed to sourcing and selling only cage-free eggs for its store operations by 2025, based on available supply. It also was among the first and largest in the conventional retail grocery sector to make such a commitment.
In November 2016, Albertsons Cos. introduced its updated Responsible Seafood Policy, which expanded its previous program beyond fresh and frozen seafood to include shelf-stable tuna (canned and vacuum-sealed), as well as sushi sold from its delis. It also committed to ensure that 100 percent of the top 20 wild and farmed seafood products it sells will meet the policy.
For increasing awareness of products that are safer for people and the environment, Albertsons Cos. received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Safer Choice Partner of the Year Award.
"We added an exceptional class of talented employees to our family as we grew to serve more neighborhoods and customers. We also supported hundreds of causes with millions of dollars in donations and transformed into a greener, more sustainable company," said Bob Miller, Chairman and CEO of Albertsons Cos. "I'm extremely proud of our accomplishments, which are a result of the dedication of every employee. They helped us take steps toward being the Favorite Local Supermarket in the communities we serve."
Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons Cos. operates stores, manufacturing plants and distribution centers across 35 states and Washington, D.C., under 19 well-known banners, including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw's, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen and Carrs.