Kroger and Albertsons Dollar 1.9 Billion Store Sale: The top two U.S. supermarket chains plan to sell many stores for $1.9 billion, with fourteen Alaska Albertsons stores to be sold to New Hampshire food suppliers and retailers.
Kroger and Albertsons plan to transfer 413 shops to C&S Wholesale Grocers. The aim is to secure FTC approval for their $24.6 billion merger.
C&S was founded in 1918 and is in New Hampshire. It’s the most extensive US wholesale grocery supplier, serving 7,500+ clients, including military sites. Forbes says it’s a top private company with $33 billion in sales. C&S operates Grand Union and Piggly Wiggly stores in the Midwest and Carolinas.
In their joint statement, Kroger and Albertsons did not mention store locations, including those in Alaska. Shops with the Carr’s name will be part of this sale.
A Kroger rep said in an email, “We can’t say which stores will be sold yet due to the ongoing regulatory process.” We hope to share these details when it’s time to close.
Carrs Safeway stores near Fred Meyer, such as those in Anchorage, may be included in the sale.
In Alaska, the top two grocery stores plan to merge. It will unite significant food stores across the state. In Alaska, there are 12 Fred Meyer stores and 35 Carrs Safeways. It has raised concerns about store closures, increased food costs, a fragile supply chain, and the livelihoods of many individuals.
Kroger and Albertsons plan to sell stores to prevent closures. Front-line workers will retain their jobs, and existing collective bargaining deals will remain unchanged.
The merger deal worries Alaska due to potential store closings, impact on food prices, and supply chain security. Unions, Rep. Mary Peltola, and lawmakers want the government to halt the merger.
Doug Ross, a trade expert at the University of Washington School of Law, says the FTC will scrutinize the sale’s impact on all areas, including Alaska. Brian Albrecht, an economist at the International Center for Law and Economics, stated that larger towns may be impacted due to the proximity and competition between Fred Meyer and
The sale aims to end anti-competitive practices, possibly including stores in large cities. Alaska’s small population means many shops are likely to be sold there.
For the upcoming sale, C&S is creating a retail holding company, 1918 Winter Street Partners. C&S can compete with a newly merged business effectively. Its purchase of over 400 stores is unlikely to raise antitrust concerns.
The merger may require C&S to purchase around 237 additional stores in specific U.S. regions, pending government approval in early 2024. The store locations for this purchase were kept private.
Kroger and Albertsons are the top two U.S. grocery shops. They own over 5,000 stores, serve over two-thirds of U.S. households, and employ 700,000 people.
Rep. Zack Fields, D-Anchorage, and other merger opponents cite previous takeovers in Alaska, such as Safeway’s acquisition of the Carrs chain in 1999, resulting in shop closures, as evidence. Despite promises to protect workers, consumer groups and unions fear the new company may not uphold them.
Ultimately, this sale and merger pose economic and regulatory challenges, particularly in areas like Alaska with overlapping shops. The FTC’s analysis of the proposal’s effects will be closely watched as it could significantly impact food store workers and customers.