Last week Kroger announced it was acquiring Albertsons for $24.5 billion, a major deal on the order of Amazon buying Whole Foods in 2017. The deal is subject to regulatory approval, and the FTC has been more rigorous during the Biden administration; indeed, hearings are already being called for. But if it passes muster, it immediately reshapes the power structure in grocery: The combined entity of Kroger and Albertsons — number one and two in terms of grocery store coverage — will control about 13% of the U.S. grocery market, according to Bank of America and J.P. Morgan, behind Walmart at 22%. It also provides a nationwide footprint with some overlap, as well as increased vendor leverage and the combined tech, digital and omnichannel assets of both players. Neil Saunders, managing director and retail analyst at GlobalData Retail, helps us put the deal in its proper context in our latest MCM CommerceChat podcast.
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