Kroger and Albertsons stores dominate the Northwest, but will that still be the case if the $24.6 billion merger of the two grocers gets approved?
The two stores combine to hold almost a 57% market share in the region that includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, according to a report from market insights company Placer.ai and reporting by the Cincinnati Business Courier.
Breaking it down even further, Albertsons, headquartered in Boise, Idaho, and sister retailer Safeway lead all grocers in the Northwest with a 35.4% market penetration, according to store visits. Kroger’s Fred Meyer holds a 21.3% share, not including the Kroger brands Smith’s and Quality Food Center. Including those brands, the market presence is even greater.
Albertsons and Safeway are the leaders in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, while Fred Meyer is king in Oregon.
The Cincinnati Business Courier writes that it will be interesting to see what happens to this market dominance if and when the Kroger, Albertsons merger is approved. The two stores will need to divest some locations, which could be as many as 300. However, New York-based investment firm Bernstein says as many as 550 stores may have to be cut from the network.
WinCo, which also is based in Boise, has been an up-and-comer in the Pacific Northwest and could benefit the most if Kroger and Albertsons stores need to be divested. The store ranks third in market penetration across the five-state region. WinCo visits were up more than 10% in Oregon during January and February of 2023 vs. a year ago.
Foot traffic in Montana was up over 9% during that same time period, and it was up more than 6% in Washington. In April, WinCo store visits were up almost 5% in Washington and Oregon compared to April 2022.