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Kroger, Albertsons to sell 400 stores, some California groceries


Albertons, which owns Safeway, is in talks along with Kroger to sell over 400 stores.

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Kroger and Albertsons are in talks to sell more than 400 grocery stores to C&S Wholesale Grocers, according to Reuters. Bloomberg was the first to break the news Tuesday, reporting that a potential sale is a move meant to win regulatory approval for Kroger and Albertsons’ $25 billion merger.

The deal, which could be announced as early as this week, would primarily affect stores in the Pacific Northwest and the mountain states, as well as some in California, Texas, Illinois and the East Coast, according to Reuters.

Albertsons has a fairly large footprint in the Bay Area, primarily with Safeway — as of October 2022, there were 161 Safeway stores in the Bay Area, according to the San Francisco Chronicle (The Chronicle and SFGATE are both owned by Hearst but have separate newsrooms). Albertons also owns Andronico’s and Pak ’n Save, which have Bay Area stores, as well as Vons and Pavilions, which have Southern California locations. 

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Kroger has a smaller presence in the Bay Area, with five Foods Co. stores in San Francisco, Oakland, Richmond and Pittsburg. Kroger also operates Ralphs and Food 4 Less in Southern California. 

C&S, the potential buyer of the stores, is primarily a supplier for grocery stores, not an operator, however it does operate some stores under the Midwestern/Southern brand Piggly Wiggly and East Coast brand Grand Union. Japanese investment group SoftBank is in talks to help C&S finance the nearly $2 billion deal, according to Reuters.

If this potential sale helps the Kroger-Albertsons merger clear regulatory and antitrust obstacles, it would become one of the biggest consolidations in retail history. The merger is expected to close in early 2024, according to Bloomberg.

Kroger, Albertsons and C&S Wholesale Grocers did not return SFGATE’s requests for comment in time for publication. 

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