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Albertsons is closing, ND Pharmacy will relocate

DICKINSON - The rumors are now confirmed and Dickinson is indeed losing its Albertsons grocery store.

Meanwhile, ND Pharmacy is relocating from its location inside Albertsons to a new and slightly larger space in the Dan's Super Market north store.

Dickinson Albertsons Manager Steve Ludwig confirmed Tuesday afternoon what has been circulating in the city for a number of days.

"They did come in and announce that they are closing the store on Feb. 22," Ludwig said.

The Dickinson outlet has about 60 employees, of which approximately 45 are full time, he said. The company is offering transfers to employees if there are openings elsewhere.

"I know we already have received calls from throughout the community. There has been a good response from local people," Ludwig said in regard to assisting employees into other local jobs. "We're going to do everything we can to help the people find employment."

The Dickinson store just recently marked its 25th anniversary of operation. Albertsons purchased the store in 1998 as part of the Butrey acquisition.

"After conducting an extensive analysis of all alternative operating scenarios, the company made the difficult decision to close this store in an effort to maximize its return on invested capital," Albertsons' corporate office in Boise, Idaho, stated in a press release explaining the Dickinson closure. "All Albertsons associates of the Dickinson store who have at least one year of continuous service with the company will receive a severance package."

The corporate press release also stated the Albertsons Williston store is remaining open.

Albertsons is now part of the SUPERVALU, which also supplies the two Dan's locations in Dickinson. A rumor also circulating in recent days talked about Albertsons' closing was due to SUPERVALU no longer wanting to supply three retail stores in Dickinson.

A formal statement supplied by Donna Eggars, Public Affairs Manager for Albertsons Intermountain West Division said, "SUPERVALU has a rich history of supporting all retailers, both corporate and independent, and this business model has served the company well for many years. SUPERVALU also has a strong legacy in supply chain operations. With all of the company's distribution outlets, both corporate-owned and independent, SUPERVALU has 5,000 distribution endpoints and delivers to 49 states. SUPERVALU does distribute to competitors of its own banner stores, such as Albertsons. This distribution to Albertsons' competitors in the Dickinson market played no part in the company's decision to close the Dickinson Albertsons store."

The store is first advertising its closing today in The Dickinson Press. The new store hours from now until Feb. 22 are 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.

"What we have been told is there will be percent-off ads to get rid of most of the merchandise in the store, with some being shipped back to other stores in our division," Ludwig said.

Ludwig has been in Dickinson just short of 10 years and has 23 years with Albertsons.

"You just fall in love with the area and we definitely will be staying," Ludwig said of his family.

Eggars said the decision-making process behind the closure was a long one.

"We have tried very hard to make this property more successful for us," she said.

As for ND Pharmacy, owner Bob Treitline said the new construction taking place at Dan's north store is to facilitate moving the pharmacy. He's anticipating moving into the new location toward the end of March, depending on how construction continues.

"We will be staying in the Albertsons building even after they close. From that time forward, the pharmacy will still be open in that facility until we have the completion of the construction," he said.

Treitline said the pharmacy will probably have shorter hours than it currently does and intends to comply with the 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. hours now used by Albertsons.

"We hope that doesn't inconvenience too many people," he said. "We are somewhat saddened that we lost our home there, but at the same time we look ahead to the future."

Treitline said Dan's representatives approached him about the opportunity to relocate there.

"Obviously, it made sense. We have an incredible investment in our community. It's a wonderful place to provide pharmacy and health care," he said.

Treitline said the Dan's representatives have been really great to work with in the early part of the relocation effort.

"It's going to be a nice spot for us as well. It kind of extends the one-stop shop if you will of being able to get your groceries and pharmacy at one location like our customers had at Albertsons," he said.