Supervalu cuts 1,100 jobs nationwide, 587 in Minnesota - New York News

Supervalu cuts 1,100 jobs nationwide, 587 in Minnesota

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Supervalu is cutting about 1,100 jobs nationwide following the sale of five of its grocery chains last week. The layoffs equate to roughly three percent of Supervalu's total workforce.

In a letter to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, the Eden Prairie, Minn.-based company said 587 of the job cuts affect Minnesota employees.

"This is a very difficult day for us," said Supervalu spokesman Mike Siemienas.

Supervalu said the reductions include both current positions and open jobs that won't be filled. The layoffs affect nearly all company offices and most departments within the organization.

"We're trying to be very thoughtful with the process," Siemienas said. "Every associate affected will have a one-on-one meeting and be founding out today and probably tomorrow as well."

The last day of work for Minnesota employees in the first round of layoffs will be May 25. Seven more groups of employees will be phased out throughout summer, with the final group's last day falling on Sept. 27.

Supervalu sold its Albertson's, Jewel-Osco, Acme and Shaw's/Star Markets grocery stores to AB Acquisition on March 21. As a result of the sale, the remaining Supervalu organization will require significantly fewer corporate and store support roles.

"The decision to reduce our workforce, although difficult because of the impacts to our people, is the necessary next step in the rebuilding of our business," Supervalu president and CEO Sam Duncan said in a statement. "This move is an important part of our strategy to be more focused and efficient in our operations, including how we staff and support our three business units going forward."

Supervalu has about 3,470 stores in the U.S. and approximately 35,000 employees. About 1,500 employees are employed at the company's corporate headquarters in Eden Prairie, and the layoffs will nearly halve the workforce there.

The company is offering outplacement services and severance packages to those who qualify, but Steve Kenney, with job placement giant Robert Half International, says workers should take some time to let the shock to set in and know that there are opportunities about there.

"The Twin Cities is a uniquely attractive market -- good white-collar opportunities for people," Kenney said. "In some respects, it is a blessing in disguise."

Although Kenney said he knows there's nothing more disconcerting than losing a job on short notice, he said those on the lower end of the salary structure should have an easier time landing a new job.

"There will be some time of real pain, but it can be a rebirth, if you will," he said.

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