Supervalu streamlining its wholesale grocery business, consolidating distribution business from three regions to two, forming new east, west teams, shedding net of 80 jobs

MINNEAPOLIS , March 20, 2014 () – Supervalu said Thursday it's streamlining its wholesale grocery business, shedding a net of 80 jobs.

The Eden Prairie-based company will consolidate its distribution business from three regions to two, forming new east and west teams. They will be located in Hopkins, where Supervalu has a large distribution center, and in Mechanicsville, Va.

Supervalu's regional office in Pleasant Prairie, Wis. will be significantly downsized.

The move will reduce operating costs and lead to an immediate loss of 200 positions throughout Supervalu's wholesale operations, about 160 of which will be in Pleasant Prairie, said Jeff Swanson, a Supervalu spokesman. All of the jobs effected are office positions, not warehouse jobs.

The company said it expects to fill 120 new jobs created by the reorganization, resulting in a net loss of 80 jobs. In Hopkins, 25 jobs will be cut, Swanson said, but about 75 new posts will be created, leading to a net gain of about 50. Laid-off workers will have an opportunity to apply for new positions.

The head of the office in Pleasant Prairie, Bill Chew, will become president of the region based in Hopkins. The current Hopkins-based leader, Mike Stigers, will become president of Supervalu's Cub Foods, the Twin Cities' largest supermarket chain.

Brian Audette, a Supervalu veteran who's been head of Cub for the past two years, will become senior vice president of merchandising, marketing and sales for Supervalu's wholesale division.

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