SUPERMARKET MEGA-MERGER: 5 of West Seattle’s 11 grocery stores would have same ownership

You’ve probably heard by now that one giant grocery company wants to buy another: If it goes through, an immediate result would be the same ownership for five of West Seattle’s 11 supermarkets, and in the longer run, the question would be whether any local closures might result. Kroger is proposing buying Albertsons. Kroger is parent company of QFC (among many other brands, including regionally prominent Fred Meyer), and Albertsons owns brands including Safeway (which it bought in the mid-2010s). West Seattle has two QFC stores and three Safeway stores, and among those, two – Junction QFC and Jefferson Square – are barely a block apart. To the south, Westwood Village QFC and Roxbury Safeway (a former Fred Meyer) are just a few blocks apart. Kroger’s news release announcing the proposed purchase/merger says they “expect to make store divestitures,” starting with spinning off up to 375 stores (not yet identified) into a separate company. That’s out of almost 5,000 stores held by the two companies now, plus almost 4,000 pharmacies and more than 2,000 gas stations. Kroger says the deal isn’t expected to close until early 2024. Early opposition to the merger includes UFCW locals who represent many local stores’ workers. They allege the merger would create a “monopoly … for many communities.” West Seattle has a relatively diversified supermarket scene, including independent West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor), mini-chain stores PCC (WSB sponsor) and Metropolitan Market, and three stores that are part of national chains, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Target.

46 Replies to "SUPERMARKET MEGA-MERGER: 5 of West Seattle's 11 grocery stores would have same ownership"

  • Rhonda October 14, 2022 (8:47 pm)


    • Frog October 15, 2022 (7:15 am)

      Totally agree.  I thought we had anti-trust law to prevent this sort of thing.  Surely with a Democrat in the White House …

  • onion October 14, 2022 (9:43 pm)

    Hard to see this as good for employees or consumers.

  • K October 14, 2022 (9:56 pm)

    This is terrible.  I really don’t see an up side to this…

  • Alki resident October 14, 2022 (10:12 pm)

    Winco for the WIN

  • Del October 14, 2022 (10:50 pm)

    Whatever happened to west seattle getting a Winco? 

    • Eddie October 14, 2022 (11:11 pm)

      Wait, wait, wait. Winco? I thought Whole Foods was the savior grocery store all west seattle-ites couldn’t live without. Oh, wait. Trader Joe’s was the Holy Grail of grocery stores that west seattle-ites had to have…..OK, I get it. Winco.

      • smoosh October 15, 2022 (1:04 am)

        Why shop at Whole Foods when we have PCC and Trader Joes?  Winco would be a nice addition but I can not think of any properties on the peninsula to host one.

      • G October 15, 2022 (7:55 am)

        It’s almost like different people have different opinions. Wild.

  • Walmart shopper October 14, 2022 (10:51 pm)

    Walmart Neighborhood Market expands its western Washington presence.

  • West Marge October 15, 2022 (1:46 am)

    Maybe this will help with redistricting delridge to end its food mirage status

  • LessCompetitionBadNews October 15, 2022 (2:56 am)

    This merger should NOT be allowed to happen. The other options that would be left (Thiftway, PCC, Metropolitan Market, and Whole Foods) are considerably more expensive when it comes to shopping for sale items. There is nothing better for a consumer than a robust competitive market. Hopefully this is blocked.

  • Just wondering October 15, 2022 (5:46 am)

    I went to buy my favorite Kroger brand breakfast cereal last week and only Post cereal brands were on the shelf.  Maybe this was a sign?

    • Nick Barnard October 16, 2022 (7:46 pm)

      Definitely not a sign. Kroger and Albertsons are thinking it’ll take them a year or two to close this deal, so they’ll continue operating independently in the interim.    

  • Buddy October 15, 2022 (6:33 am)

    We need food store that have a lower prices on food in this area! Not everyone can afford high prices at certain food stores in this area. 

  • momosmom October 15, 2022 (6:47 am)

    Yeah and where I retired from after 25 years,  Charlie’s Produce keeps getting bigger and bigger by supplying these stores!!! Plus they keep well over 1000 people employed here just in WA…gotta eat your fruits and veggies.

  • Brayton October 15, 2022 (7:45 am)

    The NPR coverage on this mentions the companies say their biggest competition is Walmart and Amazon. 

    They also claim to save money by combining so they can put some of the savings ($500m?) toward lowering prices and another much larger portion toward wages. They managed to fit the corporate non-speak word, “synergies,” into the statement.

    I think watching past merger promises shows that companies will say anything to get the government to allow the merger. 

    I fully believe they’ll ‘invest’ those savings toward the wages of the employees who need to make a yacht payment. 

    As for lowering prices, surely that could only happen through increased bulk discounts and a push for more loyalty program sign-ups so they can harvest your data for more, “synergies.”

    • Canton October 16, 2022 (10:05 am)

      And with Kroger now scanning id’s for beer, Safeway would probably take on the same policy. So more personal data being accumulated. 

  • flimflam October 15, 2022 (7:49 am)

    This won’t be good for anyone.

  • Wsresident October 15, 2022 (7:57 am)

    Does this really matter? Most people that shop at Safeway would shop at QFC, most people who don’t ever shop at Safeway and QFC still won’t (me.) We still have TJs, WF, Thriftway, PCC, Met Market. I hardly think WS will suffer from this acquisition. 

    • Sherman October 15, 2022 (12:02 pm)

      It’s going to matter to the people who shop at Safeway and QFC. They won’t be competing against each other anymore and so they will feel free to raise prices, on the shoppers who can least afford it.

      • aa October 16, 2022 (8:06 am)

        Sherman seems to be making an assumption that Safeway and QFC shoppers are lower income people than those who shop at the other stores.  I will speak for myself as mine is the only financial status I know and say that is not the case. 

    • WS Res October 15, 2022 (2:51 pm)

      The Jefferson Square Safeway is small and out of stuff/doesn’t carry things we need. The QFC a couple of blocks away is large enough to carry “niche” products and has a phenomenal Specialty area plus I can always find bargains on the discount racks.

  • Gatewood Gal October 15, 2022 (8:03 am)

    Would be nice to have a Fred Meyer again as there was 25+ years ago but that might mean the Roxbury (Safeway) site once more. 

    • Bill October 15, 2022 (1:13 pm)

      What part of Kroger owns Freddie’s did you miss?

  • Mj October 15, 2022 (8:22 am)

    At least Cosco is again a viable option!

  • John Edwards October 15, 2022 (9:18 am)

    To get around the antitrust issue they’re splitting some off to form a new company. So they are basically forming their own competition. That does not pass my sniff test.

    • Clay S October 15, 2022 (10:08 am)

      Yeah. Spinoff their own competition and then crush them by setting them up to fail. Just like they did with Haggen during the Albertsons-Safeway merger. The FTC forced Albertsons to sell off a bunch of stores. Haggen agreed to buy and rebrand them. Due to mismanagement of these stores, Haggen didn’t stand a change and were forced to declare bankruptcy and sell off or close most of their stores. Haggen sued Albertsons and ended up settling for pennies on the dollar.  Eventually, Albertson’s bought out the last remaining Haggen stores for peanuts.This merger is a bad, bad thing.

  • jw October 15, 2022 (9:50 am)

    Why would they move a Fred Meyer where Safeway is on Roxbury.  Kroger owns QFC a couple of blocks away.  Now I would like a Fred Meyer there if they shut down QFC in Westwood Village.

    • Auntie October 15, 2022 (11:07 am)

      There was a Fred Meyer there for many years, prior to it becoming Safeway. Not sure why they would do that again.

  • happyhaze October 15, 2022 (12:55 pm)

    This move will allow the, already greedy Albertson/Safeway and Kroger, to operate as a monopoly. It has already begun, the removal and loss of the older known and trusted brands at the grocery store have disappeared, or been replaced . Quality brands that had FDA regulatory supervision and oversite of standards ,practices and disciplines has turned a blind eye. This is happening now and will get worse. It will result in the customer having no choice but to buy what is offered. It is already apparent that Safeway/Albertsons, and Kroger are no longer super markets.Their shelves are being taken over by their products from A-Z.Why are Grocery Stores and Super Markets allowed to charge customers the full price of an item, instead of the advertised sale price is on the shelf or in the newspaper? Why is no one asking this question? Senior Citizens and youth and YOU are being discrimanated against here, whether you know it or not.. How have the retail grocery stores gotten away with this? No one is looking!

    • aa October 16, 2022 (8:18 am)

      Happyhaze what are you talking about?  if there is a product listed as being on sale and the checker charges you full price you have the right to get a refund.  It is not a conspiracy; it is an error.  “Their shelves are being taken over” by what??  In my opinion, much of the scarcity that we are still experiencing in stores is because of the pandemic and the resulting transportation of supplies as well as related issue of staffing.  

  • Michael Waldo October 15, 2022 (1:12 pm)

    It was Larry’s market before becoming Safeway.

    • WSB October 15, 2022 (1:27 pm)

      A version of Larry’s called LoBucks, mid-’90s, before Fred Meyer and then Safeway.

  • Gatewood Gal October 15, 2022 (1:57 pm)

    Yes, I realize Kroger’s owns Fred Meyer. I am thinking of the FM in Burien which also sells household goods, clothing, shoes besides food

  • Mellow Kitty October 15, 2022 (2:21 pm)

    How is this even legal? 

  • Millie October 15, 2022 (3:14 pm)

    From a customer perspective it would be a lose/lose situation.   Grocery prices undoubtedly would increase even more and selection options decrease.   If this merger is approved by the Federal regulators, one thing you can be assured of, the loss of good-paying jobs and the increase in self-service check-out without a decrease in prices.As with any consolidations/mergers, customer service is reduced, however, the profit margins of the resulting entity increase.

  • 1994 October 15, 2022 (7:59 pm)

    Doesn’t Safeway have some legal  strangle on properties they sell or vacate that states the former Safeway property can’t be utilized as a food store for 20 or 25 years?  Like the former Safeway that was located at 35th and Roxbury – it became a church for many years and then a school. 

  • Marshall October 15, 2022 (8:49 pm)

    I’m hoping the Kroger Albertsons merger doesn’t happen.  As for the Roxbury Safeway, Fred Meyer could have expanded the small store to be like the Burien with a full general merchandise and apparel operations.  While there are still some small food and drug only Fred Meyer stores, they don’t like building them as they prefer their super center format.  So I doubt Kroger would rebrand the Roxbury Safeway back to Fred Meyer!

    • Marshall October 22, 2022 (4:38 pm)

      I had meant to also include that the small Roxbury Fred Meyer had its chance to expand before the adjacent townhomes were built!

  • Wsresident October 15, 2022 (9:24 pm)

    Anyone concerned with pricing should be shopping at Whole Foods/Trader Joe’s. 

  • aa October 16, 2022 (8:25 am)

    People talk as if they know why companies make the decisions they make.  Very few of us have any knowledge of why businesses move or develop in one place or another.  And I honestly don’t care if it is Fred Meyer or Safeway or what was there 20 years ago.  

  • Cranky shopper October 16, 2022 (8:47 pm)

    Last I checked, both those stores were unionized. Funny how no one remembers when union workers were organizing people to oppose places like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, even trying to get land use applications denied because of tenants. When unions didn’t get their way, they simply went to the City Council and called their buddies like Lisa Herold and Teresa Mosqueda to pass their heavy-handed regulations…but wait for it…union shops are exempt. I’m shocked there are still so many grocery stores left in Seattle, particularly independents like Met Mkt. 

    • Auntie October 16, 2022 (9:12 pm)

      Most of the grocery stores in Seattle are union, including Met Mkt.

    • Elton October 17, 2022 (11:31 am)

      FYI I don’t know if I’d call Met  Market “independent” – they are owned by Good Food Holdings, which is owned by South Korean’s largest retailer, Emart.

  • Chasbo October 17, 2022 (6:21 pm)

    I wouldn’t mind seeing an ethnic grocer at junction, Uwajimaya or H-Mart.  I can shop greatest hits at TJ, WF Kroger brand store, ethnic grocery and farmer’s market.  Each gets a little of my business.

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