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Kroger, Albertsons say they’ll divest even more stores if they merge. What about Idaho?

Albertsons now plans to sell 10 supermarkets in Idaho, instead of 13, to a New Hampshire billionaire’s wholesale grocery business in an effort to head off concerns from federal regulators about its proposed merger with Cincinnati supermarket chain Kroger, a direct competitor.

The companies announced Monday that they plan to divest even more stores than previously announced to C&S Wholesale Grocers, a little-known grocery-supply firm that also oversees two retail supermarket chains in the South, Midwest and Northeast.

Albertsons and Kroger said in September 2023 that they would sell 413 stores from both companies across 17 states and the District of Columbia to C&S under a sales agreement disclosed by the companies. But they’ve added 166 stores to the tally, bringing the total divestitures to 579 Albertsons and Kroger stores.

While the updated agreement means more stores in Washington, Colorado and Oregon would be sold to C&S, it means three fewer Albertsons stores in Idaho would be sold.

Shoppers at Albertsons’ supermarket at 16th and State streets in Boise. The store was built on the site where Joe Albertson opened his first store in 1939.
Shoppers at Albertsons’ supermarket at 16th and State streets in Boise. The store was built on the site where Joe Albertson opened his first store in 1939.

The companies initially said they would sell 13 Albertsons supermarkets in Idaho, one in every three in the Boise company’s home state, but now they would sell about one in every four.


Albertsons has 39 stores in the state. Thirteen are in Boise, where Joe Albertson founded the company in 1939 and where the corporate headquarters stands at 250 Parkcenter Blvd.

Kroger, in a joint news release Monday with Albertsons, did not say which 10 Idaho Albertsons stores would be sold. A spokesperson for Albertsons told the Idaho Statesman on Monday the company could not yet share a list of the stores that would be divested.

In addition to the expanded store sell-off, the companies said they would also sell nonstore assets to “further enable C&S to operate competitively following the completion of the proposed merger.”

“We have reached an agreement with C&S for an updated divestiture package that maintains Kroger’s commitments to customers, associates and communities, addresses concerns raised by regulators, and will further ensure that C&S can successfully operate the divested stores as they are operated today,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO, in a news release. “Importantly, the updated divestiture plan continues to ensure no stores will close as a result of the merger and that all front-line associates will remain employed, all existing collective bargaining agreements will continue, and associates will continue to receive industry-leading health care and pension benefits alongside bargained-for wages.”

McMullen repeated previous pledges that the merger would “bring lower prices and more choices to more customers and secure the long-term future of unionized grocery jobs.”

Albertsons and Kroger said the agreement will bolster their position in the face of regulatory challenges and pending court proceedings.

The Federal Trade Commission is suing to block the $24.6 billion merger. The agency said in February that Kroger’s acquisition, which is the largest proposed supermarket merger in U.S. history, would “eliminate fierce competition” between the two grocery giants, leading to higher prices for consumers.

The FTC said in a news released that the merger would also harm workers, threatening their ability to bargain for higher wages, better benefits and improved working conditions.