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According to ParentsTogether Action, more than 13,000 have signed a petition to stop the Kroger, Albertsons deal.

Parent group is the next to oppose Kroger, Albertsons merger

ParentsTogether Action gathered in front of FTC headquarters to express concerns

The demographics of the groups against the $24.6 billion Kroger, Albertsons merger are now changing.

On Wednesday, ParentsTogether Action, in collaboration with the national “Stop the Merger” coalition, protested outside the Federal Trade Commission headquarters in Washington, D.C., to voice opposition to the grocery deal. Parents, children and activists joined together in an attempt to persuade the agency, which has yet to rule on the merger. ParentsTogether Action is a national, parent-led organization that helps parents stay up to date on issues affecting parents.

According to the coalition, more than 13,000 have signed a petition to stop the Kroger, Albertsons deal.

“Our merger with Albertsons will enable us to build on our history and bring meaningful, measurable benefits to our customers, our associates and the communities we serve," Kroger said in an e-mailed statement to Supermarket News. "As we have in past mergers, we will hold ourselves accountable to our customer commitments, including investing $500 million to lower prices, offering a broader selection of fresh products, and delivering value without compromise through an expanded Our Brands portfolio. Kroger has a long-standing commitment to investing in our associates and we will invest an additional $1 billion to raise wages and our comprehensive, industry-leading benefits starting on day one following close. Kroger will not lay off any frontline associates or close any stores, distribution centers, or manufacturing facilities as a result of this merger.”

As the FTC continues to analyze the merger, more and more groups are stepping up and objecting to it.

Earlier in May, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer advocacy organization, called on the Federal Trade Commission to block the merger, stating it “would result in fewer grocery stores and higher food prices — negatively impacting food and nutrition security for consumers around the country.”

In its call for FTC rejection, CSPI said the merger would control 22% of the food retail market and make it the nation’s second-largest food retailer. In addition, post-merger the combined companies plus the largest food retailer, Walmart, would control 55% of the food retail market.

The CSPI also said it was joining the “Stop the Merger” coalition, which is a national and state-level effort to oppose the deal between Kroger and Albertsons and is backed by more than 100 organizations.

The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) and its 1.3 million members voted unanimously to reject the Kroger, Albertsons merger.

“Given the lack of transparency, and the impact a merger between two of the largest supermarket companies could have on essential workers – and the communities and customers they serve – the UFCW stands united in its opposition to the proposed Kroger and Albertsons merger,” said UFCW International President Marc Perrone.

Perrone said his union has not been provided any definite assurances when it comes to store divestiture and how it might impact workers. The union also said it speculates that those who buy the divested stores, which could number close to 600, may face a high amount of debt.

However, it’s merger business as usual for Kroger and Albertsons. Earlier this week Albertsons said former Acme Markets President Jim Perkins was named to lead the planning for the creation of SpinCo, the standalone public company which will potentially contain some of the merger's divested stores (predicted to be some to be 100-375 stores).

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