It's business as usual at United Supermarkets tonight.
That's what the company wants customers to know after the announcement of their sale to Albertsons on Monday.
The deal will become final in late October, but United management insists that little will change.
It was a surreal day for Matt Bumstead as he and his family released a company 97 years in the making. Until now, United was a fourth generation, family-run grocery chain. And although it was an emotional day for company employees and management, family members say this move will only benefit their customers.
"If there's going to be more transformation...Albertsons is going to be more like United," Bumstead said. "The family of today realized that the most important thing was that the culture and vision endure."
Bumstead says United's culture of personal service and community involvement won't change with the buyout.
"This is a company that has come forward and said, look our main mission here is to not mess United up," he said.
The architects of the sale promise that the names on the stores will stay the same and that customers will see nothing but improvements.
"We as a family try to do that right thing based on serving others and doing the best with the gifts we've received," Bumstead said. "We hope the biggest thing they see is no change. That's our goal and that's what we intend to provide."
United's 50 stores, 26 fuel stations and two distribution plants will now operate as a subsidiary under Albertson's LLC.
Employees are not expected to face layoffs. United President Robert Taylor says this is only an opportunity for growth.
"It really gives us a good blast for the future. Things maybe that we've not been able to do in the past, we'll be able to do," Taylor said.
So while it's been a significant change, it's one that Bumstead believes would make his grandfather proud.
"Hopefully some day there will be a mission that stretches from coast to coast that we can say started in West Texas," Bumstead said.
Taylor said the past three years have been the most profitable years United has ever had. Plans to expand in Lubbock, Amarillo and the Metroplex are currently in the works.
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