The Safeway at 9705 N. Thornydale Road

Safeway will close one of its stores on the northwest side in early February as it continues to shed less-profitable stores following its merger with Albertsons a few years ago.

The closure of the Safeway at 9705 N. Thornydale Road, near West Linda Vista Boulevard, will affect about 80 employees, all of whom will be transferred to other stores, a company spokeswoman said.

Safeway spokeswoman Nancy Keane said the decision to close was made after a lengthy evaluation and “will ultimately strengthen operational efficiencies.”

The closest Safeway to the Thornydale store is about five miles away on North Silverbell Road at West Twin Peaks Road, though there is an Albertsons about three miles away on North La Cholla Boulevard at West Ina Road.

Safeway Inc., which is part of Albertsons Cos., filed a notice with the state on Jan. 4 that 62 employees would be affected by the closure. The notice was required under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, which requires larger employers to notify the state of plant closures or mass layoffs.

But Keane said the company is working to transfer all of the affected employees to other stores. “We don’t anticipate any layoffs and we’re working to place all employees,” she said.

The closure will leave the Tucson metro area with 13 Safeway stores and six Alberstons stores.

Last summer, the company closed an Alberstons store on East 22nd Street, along with two Safeway stores in the Phoenix area.

Contact senior reporter David Wichner at dwichner@tucson.com or 573-4181. On Twitter: @dwichner. On Facebook: Facebook.com/DailyStarBiz

Senior reporter covering business and technology for the Arizona Daily Star/Tucson.com