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10/16/2003

Colorado Cub Foods closing all of its stores

The Associated Press

DENVER — All nine Cub Foods grocery stores in Colorado will be closed, putting as many as 1,000 people out of work.

Supervalu Inc. of Minneapolis, owner of the discount grocery chain, said Wednesday that it will sell four of its stores and a distribution warehouse to Kroger Co., parent company of King Soopers and City Market. Terms of the sale, expected to close by late November, weren’t disclosed.

Supervalu said it is in discussions with other parties on selling the other stores.

The union representing the workers said about 1,000 people will be out of jobs after Kroger buys the four stores.

“I don’t know what my options are yet,” said Steve Rendon, a customer service representative at a Cub store in Lakewood for more than 10 years.

All the stores are in the Denver metro area: two in Lakewood; one in Edgewater; three in Aurora; and one each in Arvada, Glendale and Littleton.

Cincinnati-based Kroger said it will buy one store each in Lakewood and Aurora and the Glendale and Arvada stores. Kroger has 129 stores in Colorado.

Supervalu has 1,451 stores in 40 states operating under several names, including Save-A-Lot and Shop ‘n Save. As it prepares to shut the Colorado stores, the company plans to open more stores in Minnesota and other states.

Jeff Noddle, Supervalu chairman and chief executive officer, said the Colorado closures are the result of the company capitalizing on its best growth opportunities.

“Neither our retail nor our distribution operations in Denver generated sufficient volume or growth prospects to justify a continued capital investment,” Noddle said.

Cub, one of the country’s first discount grocery chains, opened its first Colorado store in 1986.