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.
West Seattle, Washington