Supervalu officials report that the company will close 50 stores in order to cut costs during the U.S. economic downturn. Supervalue is the United States' third largest grocery retail chain.

According to Jeff Noddle, Supervalu's chairman and chief executive officer, many of the stored selected to close were attained when the Minneapolis-based Supervalu acquired Albertsons in 2006. In an interview with the Idaho Statesman newspaper, Noddle declined to divulge the stores' locations. Albertson's was headquartered in Boise, Idaho.

Last year, Supervalu closed 25 stores. However, Supervalu's Chief Financial Officer Pam Knous, points out  that's not an unusual number given that the company operates more than 1,100 stores.

It's worth noting that Supervalu faced about a $3 billion loss in its fiscal third quarter, ending Nov. 29. The company has faced increased competition from competitors like Wal-Mart and slower sales as consumers shift purchasing behavior.