The industry will be watching as Albertsons sets a new course under new leadership this year. After years in the capable hands of American Stores veterans Bob Miller and Jim Donald, former Frito-Lay chief Vivek Sankaran took the wheel earlier this year. Sources describe Sankaran’s challenge as continuing to modernize Albertsons for the digital age, while being sure its physical assets can catch up to changes in consumer shopping patterns and expectations. Plans call for the retailer to more than double renovations and remodels in 2019 with about 300 projects. The company is adjusting layouts and merchandising in those units, with greater assortments of grab-and-go and individually packaged and snack-sized meals. New merchandising initiatives include meal kits, sampling events, prepared foods and in-store dining. Albertsons is also demonstrating that its new stores can make a difference: 15 are set to open this year.