Albertsons at Alma Plaza to close | News | Palo Alto Online |


Albertsons at Alma Plaza to close


The Albertsons grocery store at 3445 Alma Road will close on March 24, the grocery company announced Tuesday.

The one-month notice comes just three weeks after the corporation sold the 5.6-acre outdoor mall to an investment group led by John McNellis Partners. At the time of the sale, Albertsons stated that it would lease the store to McNellis and keep it open.

The 13,323-square-foot grocery was originally opened as a Lucky’s in January 1956. Quyen Ha, Albertsons’ public affairs manager, said that the small size and the company's failed attempts to expand the store prompted the closure. Without an expansion, the store’s performance -- which was ranked near the bottom of all local grocery stores according to a 1999 supermarket survey -- could not improve, Ha said.

“In recent years, Albertsons had been working to expand the store because such a small footprint could not provide the neighborhood the variety of products and full service departments that grocery shoppers seek today,” Ha said.

McNellis said he learned of the news Tuesday as well.

“It makes it more of a challenge for us,” he said, adding that his group is trying to find a market to replace Albertsons.

Though some community members have expressed a desire for a Trader Joe’s to move in to Palo Alto, McNellis said that the food company already has stores in Menlo Park and Mountain View, making it a less desireable prospect.

Employees were notified Tuesday of the closure, and Albertsons indicated it would try to place workers in other stores. Albertsons operates 187 other stores in the Northern California Region, and 34 other stores in Santa Clara County.

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