While food retailing is not my area of expertise, the merger of Albertsons and Safeway is too big to ignore. The trend toward consolidation, among slower-growing segments of the retail business, continues with this deal. Here’s my recent comment from RetailWire:
As conventional grocers continue to lose share to more innovative stores (everybody from Aldi to Whole Foods to Walmart to Amazon), this sort of industry consolidation makes sense. While neither chain operates in my backyard, it’s apparent to me that both companies failed to maintain past standards at their Chicago-based brands (Dominick’s and Jewel). Merging may bring the combined company more market power, but not necessarily a better experience for shoppers.
This move will probably push Kroger toward its own buying binge. It would not be surprising to see regional and super-regional companies like Publix, Roundy’s and others disappear over the long haul.