(May 7) MINNEAPOLIS — Hundreds of people will lose their jobs as one of the nation’s largest grocery wholesalers restructures its operations. Supervalu Inc., Minneapolis, will combine many of its office functions in the major realignment.

“We anticipate that several hundred people will be affected by the realignment,” said Polly Deane, a Supervalu spokeswoman. “Some employees will be relocated; some will leave through natural attrition; and others will lose their jobs.”

Dean would not provide a more specific number, saying the wholesaler is still explaining the change to its employees.

Supervalu will streamline six of its seven regions. The regional offices will remain but will combine functions such as category management, finance, retail and human resources responsibilities, Deane said.

The Northwest region will merge with the Northern office; the Southeast will combine with the Midwest; and the New England office will join the Eastern region office. The central region will not be affected by the realignment, Deane said.

“This realignment project will be implemented over a matter of months,” Dean said. “We anticipate it will be transparent to our retailers. “

The seven regions will continue to receive marketing support as well as perishable and nonperishable merchandise. Deane would not elaborate on how many produce category managers would be let go or say where the job cuts will occur.