Supervalu Inc. cutting 800 jobs nationwide

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Supervalu Inc. plans to cut 800 positions nationwide as the supermarket chain tries to lower its costs.

The company, based in Minneapolis, has approximately 135,000 employees in total. It said Tuesday that the majority of the reductions will be complete by the end of February.

The cuts include both currently filled and open jobs across most departments within its organization, although store-level employees are generally not affected.

Supervalu said the move is part of its larger strategy to reduce its expenses as the company continues its more than yearlong turnaround effort. The company has closed a number of stores, cut costs and put a heavier emphasis on its discount chain Save-A-Lot and tailoring its other stores to a more local level.

"While the announcement of a workforce reduction is difficult news to share, due to its direct impact on our associates, these changes will allow us to better connect with customers and put more authority in the hands of people who interact more closely with our customers," Craig Herkert, Supervalu's CEO, said in a statement.

The company runs roughly 4,300 stores nationwide such as Albertson's, Jewel-Osco, Cub Foods, Acme and Shaw's/Star Market as well as a wholesale distribution business to other retailers.

Shares of the company slipped 4 cents to $6.89 in afternoon trading.