Hesperians will soon have one fewer choice in grocery stores to shop from: The city's lone Albertsons grocery store has been sold to Stater Bros. and will be shut down in May.


The store, located in the Midtown Square Shopping Center, will be remodeled and reopen in spring 2012 as a Blue Ribbon Stater Bros. supermarket, replacing the nearby Stater Bros shopping center at Main Street and G Avenue.


The Hesperia store's closure is one of four announced by the Boise-based Albertsons on Friday. Stores in Coachella, Covina and Lake Elsinore are also closing in the coming months.


"Albertsons strives to ensure the success of all its stores," a release issued by the company reads in part. "However, it is occasionally necessary to close or sell those that are not meeting financial expectations in today's competitive and difficult economic environment. While these decisions are difficult - given the impact on associates and customers - Albertsons has a responsibility to do what is best for the long-term growth and success of the company as a whole."


The closure also means a transition for customers who have prescriptions with the store's Sav-On Pharmacy. The prescription files will be sold to a "competing pharmacy" in compliance with patient confidentiality standards, and signs will be posted outside the pharmacy with more details. An Albertsons representative contacted on Friday had no information as to which pharmacy would receive the accounts or when.


The new Blue Ribbon Stater Bros. grocery store will be more than twice the size of the existing Stater Bros located nearby and add a seafood department, sandwich counter and bakery.


The San Bernardino-based Stater Bros. is the largest privately owned supermarket chain in Southern California and the largest private employer in San Bernardino and Riverside counties.


Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 760-956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star.