During the late 1980s, among the struggles of their acquisition of Lucky Stores Inc., American Stores had the bright idea of transplanting the Jewel-Osco name (which they had purchased just a few years earlier) to other markets. This wasn't a spontaneous decision of mass re-branding or a national expansion, it simply happened that way. In 1989, American Stores opened a 73,000 square foot store in Largo, Florida under the Jewel-Osco name (as opposed to the original plan, "American Superstore"). A few years later in 1991, facing competition from Albertsons (and other chains) and having to sell the Alpha Beta chain in California to Yucaipa Companies (stemming from a settlement related to their merger with Lucky Stores), American Stores updated and rebranded Skaggs Alpha Beta in Dallas-Fort Worth and other markets (Dallas-Fort Worth composed about the 85% of the store base) to Jewel-Osco as well.

However, the settlement related to the Lucky merger caused a bit of a cash crunch for American Stores, as this was the result of a long lawsuit and court fight. Already, the chain had sold off Great Falls, Montana-based Buttrey Food & Drug and a number of Osco Drug stores to Kmart's PayLess Drug Stores division. In 1992, American Stores announced it would sell off the Jewel-Osco stores in Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Florida to Albertsons, along with a distribution center in Oklahoma. While the New Mexico Jewel-Osco stores were kept (they were converted to Lucky in 1998 before becoming Albertsons in 1999), Albertsons scooped up the 74 stores, effectively closing the circle on the joint venture Skaggs Albertsons stores, which many of those stores started out as. (It also wasn't the end of American Stores' financial issues and divestments, and ultimately led to their 1999 sale).

Despite Albertsons not having to divest any stores, there were three stores that appeared to have been closed before "full" conversion: 2100 South Cooper in Arlington (zip code 76010), 4613 South Hulen Street in Fort Worth (zip code 76132), and 131 Spring Creek Pkwy. in Plano (zip code 75023). This would've been noticeable only for otherwise 24/7 stores (which many of the Jewel-Osco stores were, admittedly). But the next morning, Jewel-Osco's signage still hung on doors, and many price tags and Jewel store brands still remained.*

The fancier, larger Florida stores that surpassed 70k square feet also were similar, though no doubt that many of Jewel-Osco's showier aspects: freshly squeezed juice, a soda fountain eatery, a staffed cosmetics department, and an extensive non-food department, were soon downscaled. Not overnight, of course, but I doubt that in five years, they were carrying "every cut of lamb" like Jewel-Osco once bragged...and probably the stores were also remerchandised to get rid of some of the Chicagoland brands that Jewel-Osco had. Likewise, some of the Texas stores ended up getting rebranded to Max Foods instead, a warehouse-style operation owned by Albertsons.

The rest of the Jewel-Osco stores would join up with Albertsons in 1999 with the acquisition of American Stores, but by that time, the two store groups had long drifted apart, and Jewel brands were not found at the southern stores. Over time, many of the former Jewel-Osco stores closed, some being killed in the many closure rounds, a few being divested during the Albertsons/Safeway merger, and a few being closed as newer stores replaced them.

The Largo store survived for years until being renamed to Safeway and sold in 2018 with the final exit of Albertsons from Florida. Still, there are those Albertsons out there that never closed...but never opened as an Albertsons.

* "Presto-chango, Jewel becomes Albertson's - New owner converting 41 area stores", April 13, 1992, Dallas Morning News, The (TX), Author/Byline: Tom Steinert-Threlkeld; Staff Writer of The Dallas Morning News | Page: 1D | Section: BUSINESS, "Albertsons makes its mark on takeover stores", April 22, 1992, Dallas Morning News, The (TX)

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