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Jewel-Osco President Stepping Down, Albertsons Closing 26 Stores

Jewel Osco's William Emmons

Last updated on August 30th, 2022 at 01:32 pm

Less than a year after taking the reins, William Emmons is retiring as president of Jewel-Osco, the Chicago Tribune reported earlier this week.

Lured out of retirement in March to run Jewel after it was acquired by Idaho-based New Albertsons as part of a $3.3 billion deal, Emmons announced his decision Tuesday morning.

The paper says that Jim Rice, who was named VP of operations for Jewel-Osco in August, has been elevated to run the 180-store grocery chain on an interim basis.

As the Tribune reports, the move comes as Jewel seeks to refresh its stores and expand its market share in the wake of the recent shuttering of the rival Dominick’s chain. Jewel completed remodeling of 18 locations last month, and this week is converting four stores acquired from Dominick’s to the Jewel banner.

Emmons retired from Albertsons in 2011 after 40 years at the supermarket chain, where he started by stocking shelves and rose to regional president for the South/Southeast market and, later, president for the Dallas/Fort Worth division.

During his tenure at Jewel, Emmons oversaw a number of initiatives, including the chain’s decision to drop its preferred customer card in June. Other changes include the phasing out of self-checkout, brightening the stores, expanding fresh offerings, a new dress code for employees and a renewed emphasis on customer service.

His replacement has a similar resume, according to the Tribune. Rice has worked for Albertsons for more 35 years, starting as a part-time associate and working his way up the ranks to store director in Southern California in 1986. He then was promoted to district manager in Florida and Las Vegas, VP of the Northern California division and later president of the Southwest division.

Albertsons to close 26 stores

Albertsons also announced this week that it will close 22 stores in the western U.S., as well as two Acme Markets in Westtown and Exton, Pa., and two Shaws stores in Medford and Webster, Mass., by Feb. 20, the day the company’s fiscal year ends.

Eleven of the Albertsons stores slated to close are in California. Others are in Phoenix, Albuquerque and Las Vegas as well as Oregon and Washington.

The Boise, Idaho-based grocer says the pending closures are the result of underperformance.

In the feature photo at top is William Emmons.

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