The Safeway supermarket in Juneau, seen here Oct. 4, 2023, is among those in Alaska that might be sold if its parent company, Albertsons Companies Inc., merges with Kroger Co., the parent company of Fred Meyer. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)

The Safeway supermarket in Juneau, seen here Oct. 4, 2023, is among those in Alaska that might be sold if its parent company, Albertsons Companies Inc., merges with Kroger Co., the parent company of Fred Meyer. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)

Juneau’s Safeway among 579 stores to be sold off if Kroger-Albertsons merger is approved

Kroger statement declares “no frontline workers will lose their jobs and no stores will close.”

This is a developing story.

Juneau’s Safeway supermarket is among the 579 stores that will be sold off, along with other assets, if the merger between Albertsons Cos. and The Kroger Co. is approved, according to a list released Tuesday by the companies.

No store closures or layoffs of “frontline workers” are planned as part of the merger, according to the companies. Meanwhile, officials opposed to the deal stated it is far from a done deal due to, among other things, a lawsuit seeking to stop it filed earlier this year by the Federal Trade Commission.

A manager at the Juneau Safeway store said she was not allowed to comment about the situation and referred questions to Albertsons’ national media office.

The merger involves the parent companies of Safeway (Albertsons) and Fred Meyer (Kroger), with those two stores located within close proximity in Juneau. The other major supermarkets in Juneau are Foodland and Super Bear, both part of the IGA Inc. chain.

Eighteen of the 579 targeted stores are in Alaska, including eight in Anchorage, two in Fairbanks, and others in communities stretching from Kenai to North Pole. All of those in-state are subsidies of Albertsons operating as Safeway, Carrs or Eagle.

Stores on the list would be sold to C&S Wholesale Grocers LLC, which operates stores primarily in the northeastern, midwestern and southern portions of the United States. Most of the divested stores in the Kroger-Albertsons merger are in the western U.S.

The $24.6 billion merger would result in the new Kroger-Albertsons entity operating more than 5,000 stores, making it the nation’s largest supermarket operator.

The largest U.S. food retailer as of November of 2023 is Walmart Inc., with more than 5,300 Walmart and Sam’s Club stores, although Walmart is not categorized as a supermarket, according to FoodIndustry.Com. Kroger ranked second with more than 2,700 stores and Albertsons fourth with about 2,300 stores.

Concerns about the merger such as limited product selection, higher prices and layoffs have been expressed by political and other officials at the local, state and national levels. In Alaska, those concerns have been amplified by opponents concerned about the few available stores in remote communities, and how weather and other complications can result in empty shelves by disrupting the supply chain.

A hearing for the FTC’s request for a preliminary injunction against the merger is scheduled Aug. 26 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon.

In a letter to employees at the affected stores, Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen stated the company is “confident that C&S will provide the transferred associates stability and opportunities to further enrich their careers with a growing company.”

“Together, we have committed that no frontline workers will lose their jobs and no stores will close as a result of the merger, which is true for stores that remain with Kroger and those that are transferred to C&S. C&S has also committed to maintaining transferred associates’ pay and health and wellness plans and to assume all collective bargaining agreements,” he wrote.

A coalition of local United Food and Commercial Workers unions released a statement declaring “today’s announcement changes nothing.”

“The merger is not a done deal, far from it,” the statement notes. “We remain focused on stopping the proposed mega-merger for the same reasons we have stated since it was first announced over 20 months ago — because we know it would harm workers, it would harm shoppers, it would harm suppliers and communities, and it is illegal.”

Among the most vocal Alaska politicians opposing the merger is U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola, a Bethel Democrat, who issued a prepared statement Tuesday evening that “I fought to stop the Kroger-Albertson merger last year and will continue to oppose the proposal.”

“The planned store divestments would reduce competition for Alaskans who already have limited options for groceries and other goods,” the statement adds. “Food security isn’t just a talking point for Alaskans — it’s why I am with my family putting up fish for the winter in state right now. I will continue to support the FTC’s efforts to block this merger.”

• Contact Mark Sabbatini at mark.sabbatini@juneauempire.com or (907) 957-2306.

More in News

Jasmine Chavez, a crew member aboard the Quantum of the Seas cruise ship, waves to her family during a cell phone conversation after disembarking from the ship at Marine Park on May 10. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Ships in port for the week of July 20

Here’s what to expect this week.

A car on Gastineau Avenue is partially buried by a mudslide that occurred during record rainfall on Sunday, July 14, 2024. (Photo by Simba Blackman)
New July rainfall record set for Juneau with a week to go; Suicide Basin nears 2023 fill level

No more heavy storms expected this month, according to forecaster.

The Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. Board of Trustees votes for a new chair and vice chair during a meeting in Fairbanks on Wednesday. (Screenshot from APFC livestream)
Ellie Rubenstein resigns from Permanent Fund board, Ethan Schutt displaced as chair in wake of email allegations

Trustees elect new chair, vice chair Wednesday morning; Rubenstein announces resignation hours later

Police and other emergency officials treat Steven Kissack after he was shot on Front Street on Monday, July 15, 2024. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Names of officers involved in death of Steven Kissack released, along with more details of standoff

JPD states Kissack threatened to kill officers; one officer who fired gun cleared in 2016 shooting.

U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola, D-Alaska, speaks on Jan. 4, 2024, at a town hall meeting on the possible Albertsons-Kroger grocery merger. The meeting was held at the Teamsters Local 959 headquarters in Anchorage. Peltola said on Tuesday she has not decided whether to support her party’s likely candidate, Vice President Kamala Harris. (Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)
Rep. Mary Peltola withholds support for Kamala Harris, is ‘keeping an open mind’

Congresswoman says she’s considering Harris presidency’s affect on Alaska as an oil-dependent state.

People arrive for a service at Resurrection Lutheran Church on Sunday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Lawsuit: Resurrection Lutheran Church leaders have been ousted, clarity in ‘ministerial work’ needed

Pastor Karen Perkins, two others targeted in long-brewing feud at church known for helping homeless.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Sunday, July 21, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Saturday, July 20, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Friday, July 19, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Most Read