LAKELAND (970 WFLA) -- You might not have known that Safeway even had stores in Florida. Now they won't, anymore.
Safeway is known primary in the West and mid-Atlantic states. But for the past two years, the chain has been operating three stores in our state, at locations that used to be Albertson's stores. One is on Ulmerton Road in Largo.
Grocery industry observers thought the company was floating a trial balloon to see if it could gain any traction in a state dominated by Publix and Walmart, with several other chains taking a piece of the pie. The supply chain was a very long one, from the nearest Safeway warehouse in Houston, Texas.
Now that experiment is over. Safeway is selling all three stores to Publix for an undisclosed price.
Publix says those stores will operate under the Safeway brand until early September, and will reopen sometime during the fourth quarter with the Publix banner. Workers at those stores are invited to apply with Publix but the company made no statements guaranteeing their positions.
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