Few businesses worldwide are synonymous with their city of origin as Boise's Albertsons Supermarkets and the city of Boise. Joe Albertson's dream has provided employment, charity, and indescribable benefits to Boise and beyond. It all appears to end if the federal government allows mammoth Kroger Foods to swallow our beloved Boise supermarket chain.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the proposed merger is worth over $24 billion. The deal if it is approved would be the largest merger in the grocery industry.  The journal interviewed Kroger's CEO who expressed his support for this major acquisition.

“It allows us to do things we are doing in an accelerated way,” Kroger Chief Executive Rodney McMullen, who will serve as CEO and chairman of the combined company, said in an interview.

For Kroger, Mr. McMullen said, Albertsons brings a complementary footprint, with stores in parts of the country where Kroger has none, and the deal will lead to faster and more profitable growth. Together, the companies said, their stores would supply groceries for an estimated 85 million households."

We don't know whether or not Mr. McMullen has ever been to Boise. We are blessed with several choices of grocery stores, from Wal-Mart, WinCo, Albertsons, and Fred Meyer, owned by Kroger. I doubt Mr. McMullen cares about the Idaho employees who will lose their jobs or benefits because of regulatory issues.

With all due respect to Kroger employees, Albertsons treats their employees like gold. The country is intertwined in the fabric of our city, from the Albertsons Open Golf Tournament to Albertsons Stadium.

A merger will mean cutting costs and benefits and closing stores. Why would Kroger allow Albertson to compete against Fred Meyer? The giant company in these mergers always wins at the expense of the smaller one.

We hope that other local media outlets will look at this story as we have instead of regurgitating the press releases from the Kroger Company.

Please don't mistake our reporting for anything more than what it is. It is a defense of a magical local company that needs to stay special by staying local, not by taking orders from someone in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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