Albertsons Cos. has informed officials in Maryland that it intends to close a distribution center serving its Safeway banner in the Washington area.
The retailer said it intends to consolidate its distribution activities at an existing unit in Denver, Pa., that serves its Acme Market brand, and it would make an additional 300 hires there. Both Safeway’s Washington-area stores and Malverne, Pa.-based Acme are a part of Albertsons’ Eastern Division. The consolidated Denver facility would serve all 275 Acme and Mid-Atlantic Safeway stores.
Albertsons filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) notice to state officials Jan. 29, saying it planned to close the facility, known as the Collingwood Distribution Center, in Upper Marlboro, Md., by Aug. 1. That closing would cost 520 jobs, Albertsons said in the filing.
An Albertsons spokeswoman told WGB the company would work with employees and union representatives at the Upper Marlboro distribution center to identify new employment opportunities. Where possible, the company will place as many people in open positions elsewhere. The Collington facility will be marketed for sale following its anticipated closure in August.
“Serving the entire region’s Acme and Safeway stores from the Denver, Pa.-based distribution center will help fuel the company’s investments and benefit its e-commerce business, its brick-and-mortar stores and its customers,” the spokeswoman, Christine Wilcox, said. “In addition, the partially automated facilities at this distribution center will create a more efficient supply chain that will allow us to reduce waste.”
This is the second time in five years that a plan to close the Upper Marlboro facility has arisen. In 2015, when the center was run by C&S Wholesale Grocers on behalf of Safeway, a plan to close the facility and consolidate in Pennsylvania was averted in 2016 when an affiliate of Albertsons acquired the center from C&S. Albertsons had separately acquired Safeway in 2015.
The 2016 deal also included the crafting of a new supply agreement with C&S and negotiated concessions from union workers at the site.