(June 29) Eden Prairie, Minn.-based Supervalu Inc. announced June 28 it plans to spend more than $1 billion improving existing stores and building new ones.

Supervalu said on its Web site that it plans to build more than 180 new stores, including 50 to 75 Save-A-Lot locations. The chain also plans to remodel 329 stores, including 250 Save-A-Lots.

Chicago and New England will be two of the markets most affected. Supervalu said it plans to open six Jewel-Osco stores in Chicago in 2007 and plans to remodel 18 others. In New England, the plan calls for five new Shaw’s or Star Market stores and 14 remodels.

Supervalu became the nation’s third-largest retailer with about 2,500 stores when it purchased 1,100 stores from Albertson’s Inc., Boise, Idaho, earlier this year.