On October 14, 2022, Kroger entered into an agreement to merge with Albertsons Companies, establishing a national footprint to serve America with fresh, affordable food. The transaction will combine two complementary organizations with iconic brands and deep roots in their local communities, to expand customer reach to provide fresher products to customers more quickly and efficiently. We are excited about what this announcement means for our associates, customers and communities.
Albertsons Companies is a food and drug retailer in the United States, operating over 2,000 retail food and drug stores with 1,720 pharmacies, 402 associated fuel centers, 22 dedicated distribution centers and 19 manufacturing facilities. Albertsons Cos. operates stores across 34 states and the District of Columbia with 24 banners including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw's, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen, Carrs, Kings Food Markets and Balducci's Food Lovers Market. Importantly, Albertsons Cos. shares our passion for delivering high-quality products and great value to customers.
As a combined company, we will be able to serve even more customers across the country with fresh, affordable food. We will be better positioned to provide our customers with the products and services they love anytime and anywhere with a more personalized and convenient omnichannel experience including in-store shopping, enhanced pickup capabilities, faster delivery times and stronger digital capabilities. We will also bring our customers a broader selection of the trusted supermarket banners and private label brands spanning all grocery categories, offering high-quality products at great values. In addition, we will build on our long track record of lowering prices and improving the customer experience. We plan to invest approximately $500 million to reduce prices for customers and $1.3 billion into Albertsons Companies stores to enhance the customer experience following the close of the transaction.
Our stores are open and serving our customers and communities as we always have. Importantly, until the transaction closes, which we expect to occur in early 2024, subject to the receipt of required regulatory clearance and customary closing conditions, Kroger and Albertsons Companies will remain separate, independent companies. This means that we are operating as usual, and customers should expect no changes as a result of the transaction process.
We do not expect any changes to the brands or products we offer as a result of the transaction process. This means customers can expect us to provide the same brands and products they love. Following the close of the transaction, we expect to be able to provide customers with an even wider selection of brands and fresh, high-quality products at great values.
We are continuing to offer our typical savings and promotions. This includes our Fuel Points program, Boost Membership, credit card, coupons, savings, and other loyalty programs. We are also selling and honoring gift cards as we always have. We encourage you to continue earning and using your points at our stores, fuel centers, pharmacies as well as online. In fact, as a combined company, we will provide an unmatched personalized experience by offering more relevant recommendations and promotions to save customers time and money.
Until the transaction is completed, which we expect to occur in early 2024, subject to the receipt of required regulatory clearance and customary closing conditions, Kroger and Albertsons Companies will remain separate, independent companies. This means that your Kroger and Albertsons Cos. customer programs remain separate, and you cannot use your Kroger customer program at Albertsons Cos. stores or on their digital platforms. We will provide details on the exciting benefits this transaction will provide to our loyalty customers as we get closer to the close of the transaction.
The transaction is expected to be completed in early 2024, subject to required regulatory clearance and other customary closing conditions.