Support for the Merger

Click here to read a letter from Ohio Congressman, Greg LandsmanClick here to read remarks from U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown

"Why the Kroger-Albertsons Merger Is Good for Union Workers"

By Burt Flickinger

Burt Flickinger III and Strategic Resource Group (SRG), G. Henry Mellet and team have done meaningful pro bono work for the UFCW, Teamsters, and BCTGM (Baker & Food Manufacturers) unions for 25 years to help preserve and save union jobs.
Read Full Op-Ed on Progressive Grocer

"In the new shopping world, Albertsons-Kroger merger could provide the competition we need"

By Chris Cargill

Chris Cargill is the Founder, President and CEO of Mountain States Policy Center, an independent research organization based in Idaho that provides analysis and recommendations to lawmakers, the media and the public to promote free enterprise and individual liberty.
Read Full Op-Ed on Mountain States Policy Center

"Will the Kroger and Albertsons merger be good for employees and consumers?"

By Mark Harmsworth

Mark Harmsworth is the Small Business Director of the Washington Policy Center, an independent non-profit research and educational organization. He previously served two terms as a member of the Washington State House of Representatives.
Read Full Op-Ed on Washington Policy Center
“Never has the company’s purpose of feeding the human spirit and uplifting communities been more alive than at that King Soopers in Boulder… This is the stuff that great companies are made of, and it’s one of four key reasons that Kroger is poised to sustain its momentum as America’s top grocer, driving profitable sales growth and providing a seamless shopping experience.”

Progressive Grocer

Read the Full Article Here

A Kroger-Albertsons Cos. Combination Will Deliver Compelling Consumer Benefits

“While a merger would not make Kroger and Albertsons the dominant industry players, it would allow them to compete more effectively with others, putting pressure on all major retailers to keep prices low as they fight to preserve their customer base. In fact, Kroger and Albertsons have indicated that the merger will generate $500 million in new cost savings for them that they plan to use to cut consumer prices. In addition, they plan to expand their lineup of affordable store brand products and spend $1.3 billion on improving customer service at Albertsons stores.”

Nate Scherer

American Consumer Institute, Policy Analyst

“Will the merger help consumer choice? It should. The new organization will be able to compete more effectively with the onslaught of online and warehouse competition. With C&S competing, prices and product selection should improve...”

Mark Harmsworth

Washington Policy Center, Small Business Center Director

“That’s why I believe this one… makes too much sense for the American people, which is what we really care about.”

Jim Cramer

CNBC Mad Money

7/26/23

“Never has the company’s purpose of feeding the human spirit and uplifting communities been more alive than at that King Soopers in Boulder… This is the stuff that great companies are made of, and it’s one of four key reasons that Kroger is poised to sustain its momentum as America’s top grocer, driving profitable sales growth and providing a seamless shopping experience.”

Read the Full Article Here

Progressive Grocer

5/15/23

"This deal could provide some food pricing relief for consumers, With Aldi, Lidl and other discount grocers coming in, this positions Kroger to drive the market forward."

Ken Fenyo

President of Research at Coresight

"KR’s price investments have driven its gross margin down by over 400 bps in the last 20 years, but yielded an estimated high-single digit price gap to ACI. We estimate that ACI’s capex/store has trailed KR by 30% on average over the last 15 years. We believe KR will look to bring the acquired ACI stores up to the standards of the core business over time given its historical success."

Edward Kelly

Wells Fargo

10/24/22

"… given KR’s more aggressive focus on price gaps, we would expect some level of future price investment."

Simeon Gutman

Morgan Stanley

10/14/22

"Specifically, we see opportunities for KR to help improve ACI’s business through better pricing, further improving loyalty/usage of data, and operating a bit more centralized without losing local advantages. And there are likely some ways that ACI can help KR as well, such as in fresh categories."

Scott Bender

Cleveland Research

10/14/22

"The national reach is unquestionable - it’s exciting for both growing and mature brands to scale distribution via fewer touch-points, and have the potential to get products on more shelves, in more stores, much more efficiently. As leaders in data-driven and digital business models, if Albertsons and Kroger are able to merge the best of their joint capabilities, it’ll be great for retail."

Rahul Shah

GoodPop, COO and President

"A deal if completed at a reasonable price makes strategic sense...Albertsons will strengthen Kroger’s presence west of the Mississippi River. More importantly, Albertsons will increase scale and operating leverage, which provides more tools to employ to cope with inflationary headwinds."

James Lewis

Bartlett Wealth Management, Equity Research Analyst

The Merger Protects the Long-Term Future of Union Jobs

“Future union membership levels depend on the ability of Kroger and other supermarket chains to compete effectively. Kroger has a history of being a good corporate citizen, both benefiting the labor force and the consumer.”

Burt Flickinger

Strategic Resource Group, Founder

"If Kroger and Albertsons are stopped from combining resources and scaling up to remain competitive, all – not just some – of their employees may be looking for a new job."

Jessica Melugin

Competitive Enterprise Institute, Director of Center for Technology & Innovation

"If this merger turns out to increase the productivity of the grocery business, and the food products business in the U.S., that's going to lead to a net increase in jobs across all sectors in the U.S."

Steven Peterson

University of Idaho, Associate Clinical Professor of Economics

The Grocery Market Remains Competitive; The Landscape has Evolved Considerably In Recent Years

“While a merger would not make Kroger and Albertsons the dominant industry players, it would allow them to compete more effectively with others, putting pressure on all major retailers to keep prices low as they fight to preserve their customer base. In fact, Kroger and Albertsons have indicated that the merger will generate $500 million in new cost savings for them that they plan to use to cut consumer prices. In addition, they plan to expand their lineup of affordable store brand products and spend $1.3 billion on improving customer service at Albertsons stores.”

Nate Scherer

American Consumer Institute, Policy Analyst

“Kroger and Albertson’s currently occupy 10% and 6% of the U.S. grocery market share respectively. The combined entity would still be well behind Walmart, the national leader with a 29% market share. Another threat to supermarkets such as Kroger and Albertson’s is the rise of national discount grocery chains. Such chains now occupy 63% of the overall market…”

Dan Savickas

Taxpayers Protection Alliance, Director of Policy

“From a free market perspective, Kroger and Albertsons are doing what needs to be done to compete in a competitive marketplace while considering the importance of retaining jobs and maintaining customer choice. The Kroger Albertsons merger may be the final chance to level the playing field to improve competition, create more choice and provide local jobs in the community.”

Mark Harmsworth

Washington Policy Center, Small Business Center Director

“Even if the Albertsons-Kroger merger proceeds, it would account for just 9% of nationwide sales, according to the International Center for Law and Economics. But what it would do is get the attention of the big three — increasing competition with their 42% of the current market share.”

Chris Cargill

Mountain States Policy Center, Founder, President & CEO

“Theatrics aside, there is really no compelling business reason to block the merger. Yes, The Kroger Co. and Albertsons are big chains but the grocery industry itself remains fragmented. Consumers enjoy a vast array of choices, whether mega retailers Walmart Stores Inc. and Amazon Inc, regional players like H.E.B. and Schnucks, and even non-traditional players like dollar stores.”

Read the Full Article Here

The Street

6/26/23

“Supermarkets and smaller-format grocers accounted for about 37% of Americans’ total food spending in 1997. As of 2022 that was down to about a quarter of the total, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.”

Read the Full Article Here

The Wall Street Journal

7/21/23

“...the grocery industry itself remains fragmented. Consumers enjoy a vast array of choices, whether mega retailers Walmart Stores Inc.  and Amazon Inc. regional players like H.E.B. and Schnucks, and even non-traditional players like dollar stores.

And what more, traditional supermarket chains have been rapidly losing ground to the rest of the pack, large and small competitors.

From 2017 to 2022, food retailers saw their share of total grocery market sales slip to 66.6% of sales from 69.7%, according to a new report by Coresight Research, while major mass merchandisers (Walmart, Target Corporation) increased their share to 19.0% of sales from 18.4%.

Major discount and dollar stores inched up from 3.1% to 3.4% of sales. Major warehouse clubs like Costco Wholesale Corporation saw the greatest jump in sales share, moving to 10.9% from 8.7%.”

Read the Full Article Here

The Street

6/26/23

“Kroger’s current business model is founded on four pillars: fresh, private brands, personalization and seamless (omnichannel). By delivering on these four pillars, the company continues to churn out profitable sales growth at a time when the grocery market is oversaturated, hypercompetitive and an exceedingly expensive industry in which to operate.”

Read the Full Article Here

Progressive Grocer

5/15/23

“I think they do have really good arguments to make, and they seem well-prepared to make them. They understand completely the environment they’re working in. They understand they’ll probably have to put together a package of divestitures to overcome concerns in some markets…It has sounded in some comments that they’re also committed not to use labor redundancies as a cost-savings mechanism, and they are putting forward an investment plan that should be attractive as well…So, they have good things going for them and they seem to be patient here too. They’re giving themselves a lot of time before their anticipated closing date – well over a year.”

William Kovacic

Former FTC Chairman

"The outrage over the payout and the deal is overblown: Albertsons and Kroger are in an industry with razor-thin margins. Combining would help them scale up and compete with well-capitalized e-commerce rivals. In any case, the chains' combined grocery market share would fall short of that of Walmart, which has stores within 10 miles of 90% of the U.S. population and is unlikely to give up its everyday-low-prices positioning."

Wall Street Journal Heard on the Street

"A national footprint may be exactly what they need to compete with Walmart in the future. They’re not thinking just a couple years ahead. They’re thinking far ahead about how you compete with the behemoths."

Thom Guidi

Foster & Motley, Investment Manager

"We think the deal makes strategic sense…KR over-indexes to the Midwest, while ACI is much more concentrated in the West and Southwest."

Steven Shemesh

RBC

10/18/22

"…we believe the combination could strengthen KR’s ability to compete with other large players and drive significant L-T earnings/cash flow accretion.

We believe a KR/ACI combination could better compete with WMT, AMZN, and TGT at a national level."

Rupesh Parikh

Oppenheimer

10/19/22

"We believe this deal would result in a more competitive national player… Albertsons Northeast locations have virtually no overlap."

Michael Montani

Evercore

10/13/22

"Merging with Albertsons will better position Kroger to compete with Walmart and even Amazon on a national scale."

Ken Fenyo

Coresight, President

"…the national food and grocery market is still pretty fragmented, with Walmart as the largest player, with about 17 percent of the market. It doesn't create a sort of behemoth that is crowding everyone out of the market.

From a broader national perspective, a combined Kroger and Albertsons does not pose any major threat to the competitive dynamics of the market."

Neil Saunders

GlobalData, Managing Director

"…allowing Kroger and Albertsons to merge will likely mean a more, not less, competitive market in the long run…Consumers deserve better when it’s a matter of putting food on the table."

Clyde Wayne Crews

Competitive Enterprise Institute, Vice President for Policy

"The market for groceries is the latest to grab headlines for what is both normal and heathy: dynamic responses to an evolving economic landscape. Recession, inflation, and new consumer patterns with online ordering and home delivery means suppliers must adapt or stagnate. How companies configure themselves is just one form of adaptation and we should cheer the experimentation and ward off political opportunism that would control or direct how private capital reacts to a changing world."

Kent Lassman

Competitive Enterprise Institute, President and CEO