Friday, May 24, 2024

Kroger-Albertsons Merger Proposes Transfer of Haggen Stores to C&S Wholesale Grocers

In a strategic move to address regulatory concerns, The Kroger Co. and Albertsons Companies Inc. have outlined an expanded divestiture strategy involving the sale of Haggen grocery stores to C&S Wholesale Grocers, LLC. This proposal forms part of a broader effort to secure the merger between these major grocery chains.

In an ambitious initiative first proposed in 2022, Kroger and Albertsons aimed to merge, sparking a need to divest over 400 stores to mitigate antitrust issues. The latest development, announced on Monday, includes a comprehensive plan where the well-regarded Haggen brand, along with several other store banners, would transition to C&S Wholesale Grocers.

Kroger’s Chairman and CEO, Rodney McMullen, emphasized that this revised package upholds Kroger’s dedication to its customers, employees, and community. He reassured stakeholders that the deal would not only prevent store closures but also ensure that all frontline workers retain their jobs, with ongoing benefits and wages protected under existing labor agreements.

McMullen further highlighted the benefits of the merger, predicting that it would lead to reduced prices and increased options for consumers while securing a stable future for unionized grocery positions. The new proposal encompasses the sale of 579 stores, including prominent names like Fred Meyer, Safeway, and QFC, enhancing C&S’s portfolio significantly. Notably, in Washington state alone, 124 stores under the Albertsons and Kroger banners are set to change hands to C&S, ensuring a broad impact across the region.

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