American Stores Inc., half a year after moving to Irvine, Calif., will be returning its national headquarters to Salt Lake City over the next several months, officials say.

The company had made Irvine its base after its $2.5-billion takeover of Lucky Stores in California.American Stores, which is parent to a variety of retail outlets including Skaggs Alpha Beta and Osco Drug, did not give a specific reason for moving back to Utah.

Senior Vice President Michael Miller said the move back to Salt Lake City might require some transfers of personnel, but American Stores will maintain some corporate offices in Irvine. However, he said the company should now be referred to as Salt Lake -based.

No formal timetable has been established for completion of the move of the corporate headquarters from Irvine back to Salt Lake, but it is expected to be completed by summer.

The company completed its purchase of California's Lucky Stores last June and moved its national headquarters to Irvine in July.

American Stores is awaiting a ruling on its appeal of an injunction sought by the California attorney general that has barred the company from completely merging Lucky into the company.