The owner of Acme supermarket, Albertsons, is being sold to Kroger for $20 billion, writes Joseph N. DiStefano for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Acme Markets once dominated the Philadelphia supermarket scene.
The Malvern-based supermarket chain was sold to Idaho-based Albertsons. Now Albertsons and its more than 21 supermarket chains are being sold to rival Cincinnati-based Kroger.
Kroger hopes to save $1 billion annually by combining food processing and sourcing operations and adding labor-saving technology.
The merger “is not the worst thing that could have happened” to Albertson workers and customers, said Wendell Young IV, president of UFCW Local 1776. The local represents Acme employees in Pennsylvania.
Both Kroger and Albertsons have been paying their members wage increases, paying for increased health care costs and increases to retirement plans.
The merger means the chains will be able to compete better against “nonunion” Walmart, said Kroger chief executive Rodney McMullen.
“For a long time, Acme had owners that didn’t invest in the stores,” said Robert Costello, owner of $200 million-asset Costello Asset Management in Feasterville, a Kroger shareholder. “Lately they have been much improved, and they’re lucky — you know how Acme customers are loyal to the teeth.”
Read more about the Albertson-Kroger merger at The Philadelphia Inquirer.