Albertsons LLC will purchase Lubbock-based United Supermarkets, United has confirmed to FOX 34. The Boise, Idaho-based company will acquire 50 supermarkets, 26 fuel stations, three distribution centers and one manufacturing facility. United is the fifth-largest employer in Lubbock, according to 2011 data, employing more than 2,800 people.
United Supermarkets was founded in 1916, family owned and operated until now. Robert Taylor, CEO of United, says they will operate as a separate business unit under the Albertsons corporate structure, Taylor will remain in that position, reporting to Albertsons CEO Bob Miller.
"He wants all our people there and it's been spelled out in our merger agreement that all our people will be there." Taylor said.
Matt Bumstead, co-president at United, said the merger is to allow for growth that United on its own could not accomplish.
"United is going to remain and only get stronger. Our Mission, our culture, our service, our community involvement are going to remain the same. They're going to get stronger and hopefully over time spread out to more and more areas." Bumstead said.
Albertsons closed its last location in Lubbock in 2007. That building at South Loop 289 and Slide is now Cardinals Sports Center.
Last month United announced a name change from United Supermarkets, LLC to The United Family. Company representatives said in August the change was to better reflect the company's multiple store brands and its family history.
United's history goes back 97 years, according to the United website. There are now 51 stores in 30 Texas cities with more than 10,000 employees.
Across the South Plains United has locations in Plainview, Muleshoe, Littlefield, Levelland, Slaton, Brownfield, Post, Lamesa and Snyder. Regionally, United stores stretch from Dalhart in the northwestern Panhandle to Market Street locations across nothern parts of the Metroplex.
Albertsons LLC operates more than 600 stores from California to Florida, according to the Albertsons website. This transaction is expected to be complete by late October, pending government approval.
Bumstead said the customers will not see many changes to the current way United stores operate.
"I would just want them to know that we would not have entered into this decision under any other circumstances but these. In which the company acquiring us is very very serious about not only not messing up United, not changing United. They want to learn from United themselves." He said.
"We are really excited about the opportunity it gives to our people, the communities we serve." Said Taylor.
The quality customer service United is known for as well as all the store brands will remain the same after the buy out.