Major Grocery Chain Getting Rid of Over 60 Stores in California
You'd be hard pressed to find someone who doesn't have a favorite grocery store.
It might be your favorite because of its low prices. Maybe it’s your favorite because it’s on your way home from the office or your child’s school. Perhaps you prefer grocery shopping somewhere like Walmart because you can run other errands for your home while you grocery shop.
Depending on who owns and operates your favorite store, it may be closing or getting a new owner this year.
Update on the Kroger and Albertsons Merger
No doubt, the 2022 announcement that Ohio-based Kroger and Idaho-based Albertsons was big news all over America because the two companies have an impressive portfolio of brands and locations. The initial announcement suggested that the deal would close in early 2024. However, we’re through January and it still hasn’t happened. The two brands have been vague about the timeline. In their most recent update on January 15 it simply said that they are “updating our anticipated closure timeline.” They now anticipate the closing to occur in the “first half of Kroger’s fiscal 2024.”
The Federal Trade Commission's biggest concern is that if the merger goes through, the new mega grocery chain will diminish competition in markets where both Kroger and Albertsons have a significant amount of stores and overlap. Many cities in California fall in that bucket. Albertsons operates more than 500 stores in the Golden State under the Albertsons name, as well as Safeway, Vons, Pavilions and Andronico’s. Kroger has more than 250 stores in California, mainly operating those locations as Ralphs and Food 4 Less.
In order to reduce those concerns, they’ll sell more than 400 stores to another company called C&S Wholesale Grocers to try to prevent a grocery monopoly.
According to USA Today, both companies are committed to not closing stores or laying off workers but they’re washing their hands of the locations. After the sale, if the new operator wants to close them, they could. Either way, the store that you’ve come to know will be gone when new leadership takes over. They’ll rebrand and probably adjust the layout of the stores to match the standards of their own brand.
C&S operates stores as Grand Union, Southern Family Markets, Piggly Wiggly, Nell’s and Olean Wholesale Grocery. C&S already has facilities supporting their operation in Rancho Cordova, Sacramento and Stockton.
How Many Stores Will Be Affected?
California will lose 66 stores owned by Albertsons and Kroger. The number has been widely reported, but the actual locations and brands of the stores they’re selling likely won’t be announced until after the merger is complete.
Washington will be the hardest hit. USA Today reveals they’ll lose 104 Albertsons and Kroger stores. They’re not happy about that. Their state’s attorney general has filed a lawsuit in order to slow or stop the $24.6-billion merger.
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