Save Mart trims 50 positions

March 9, 2009 

TB North Pointe 3

Save Mart store file photo. (Ted Benson/The Modesto Bee)

Save Mart Supermarkets has eliminated close to 50 of its roughly 21,000 jobs, a move related to its 2007 purchase of the Albertsons chain.

The reduction was carried out last week in the Modesto corporate offices and in distribution and other support functions here and elsewhere, spokeswoman Alicia Rockwell said Monday.

Save Mart has about 1,500 people in corporate and support roles, and the rest work at the nearly 250 stores, she said. Some of the lost positions were vacant.

The reduction came after "a companywide department analysis and job justification project," said a written statement from Steve Junqueiro, president and chief operating officer.

"This is the first time in the history of Save Mart Supermarkets that the company has had to reduce corporate and support services employees," he said.

The move happened sooner than expected because of the weak economy, Junqueiro said. The affected people are getting severance packages and job placement services.

Save Mart, founded in Modesto in 1952, operates stores in Northern California and Nevada under the Save Mart, FoodMaxx, Lucky and S-Mart Foods banners.

The company also announced that it is shifting about 375 employees at coastal stores from full-time to part-time positions. This will "align store-level employee hours with current sales," the statement said. Rockwell said Modesto area stores already have the proper balance of full-time and part-time workers.

Bee staff writer John Holland can be reached at jholland@modbee.com or 578-2385.

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