Albertsons to close Southlake stores, four others in DFW

Albertsons on Friday announced the closing of its Southlake store and four others in the Metroplex, one of the nation's most hotly contested retail food markets.

Once the region's dominant traditional grocer, Albertsons said it failed at trying to make a go of the five supermarkets. It lost its top spot to Wal-Mart and Kroger in the past decade, but still has 54 stores within 50 miles. It had 86 in 2006.

Spokeswoman Christine Wilcox noted that Albertsons has reopened stores in Watauga and in Fort Worth's Westcliff neighborhood in the past year.

There was relatively little competition in Southlake when Albertsons opened its store there in 1994. A Winn-Dixie left the area, but local residents can now shop at Central Market, Kroger, Tom Thumb and Sprouts Farmers Market.

"We evaluate all of our stores annually, and when we identify locations that are struggling, we take steps to turn them around," Wilcox said. "Over the last several years, we have put our best efforts into repositioning these stores to better compete in the marketplace.

"Unfortunately, we haven't been able to do so."

Wilcox said that liquidation sales will begin Wednesday and that the stores will close around Feb. 20. The other stores closing are in Carrollton, Garland, Richardson and Plano, as well as ones in Tyler and San Angelo.

"We are working with the associates to identify positions for as many as possible," she added. "Those we are not able to place may be eligible for severance benefits."

Barry Shlachter, 817-390-7718