3 local QFC stores, one Safeway on list to be sold if grocery chain merger approved

QFC at 22828 100th Ave. W. in Edmonds may be one of four local grocery stores to be affected by the proposed merger between Kroger and Albertsons. (Photo by Craig Parrish)

Kroger and Albertsons on Tuesday released a list of 579 grocery stores nationwide — including four local stores — to be sold off if a merger between the two grocery chains eventually goes through.

On the list are QFC stores at 22828 100th Ave. W. in Edmonds, 7500 196th St. S.W., Ste. B in Lynnwood and 22803 44th Ave. W. in Mountlake Terrace. Also on the list is the Safeway store at 19500 Highway 99 in Lynnwood. A full list of the stores that would be sold is here.

The entire list includes 124 Washington locations of Kroger, which owns QFC and Fred Meyer, and Albertsons, which owns Safeway and Haggen. That would be nearly 40% of the grocery stores that the chain owns in the state, according to the Seattle Times. No Fred Meyer locations appear to be on the list.

The identified locations would be owned and operated by New Hampshire-based C&S Wholesale Grocers.

Some have expressed concern that the sale of the stores to C&S might result in store closures, but an Albertsons spokesman said Wednesday that no stores will close.

“C&S is a well-capitalized industry leader in wholesale grocery supply — currently serving more than 7,500 independent supermarkets, retail chain stores, and military bases—with a strong track record as a successful grocery retailer,” the spokesperson said. “Their purchase of these assets — along with the associates who will transition to C&S post-close — will enable their company to be one of the leading grocery retailers in the United States, providing communities and consumers with even more choices and access to fresh, affordable food options.

“Both C&S and Kroger have each committed that no frontline workers will lose their jobs and no stores will close as a result of the merger. Furthermore, associates will also continue to receive the competitive wages and benefits that they do today, maintaining their pay, health, and wellness plans, and all collective bargaining agreements where they are in place.”

Kroger and Albertsons announced plans to merger in October 2022, a proposal that has been awash in controversy since its inception. On Jan. 15, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a lawsuit seeking to block the merger on grounds that it violated state antitrust laws and would result in higher grocery prices. In April, the stores said they would divest 579 of their stores to C&S for $2.9 billion.

On April 26, a King County Superior Court rejected efforts by Kroger and Albertsons to dismiss the suit, which is scheduled to go to trial Sept. 16.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sued in February to block the merger — the largest proposed supermarket merger in U.S. history, according to an FTC news release. The FTC alleges that Kroger’s acquisition of Albertsons is anticompetitive.

“The FTC charges that the proposed deal will eliminate fierce competition between Kroger and Albertsons, leading to higher prices for groceries and other essential household items for millions of Americans,” the release said. “The loss of competition will also lead to lower quality products and services, while also narrowing consumers’ choices for where to shop for groceries.”

A trial has been set for that lawsuit to move forward in federal court in Oregon on Aug. 26.

— By Craig Parrish

 

 

  1. The stores that Kroger is selling must be viable businesses as C & S Wholesale Grocers is purchasing them and promising to continue their operation. So why is Kroger selling those stores? Do they badly need the $2.9 billion that they’ll receive from C & S?

    1. By divesting themselves of those assets they blunt the antitrust argument, which is about market concentration.

    2. 124 WA stores will be sold, including Hagens. As years and mergers won’t by, the consumer lost out. It’s Joe Albertsons supermarket became a Safeway clone. QFC, great store and PO., was demolished in favor of the barn
      Across the street, a sterile ediface never upgraded. Thank God we don’t have the Hoggly Woggly brand here. I left FM and QFC for Hagens. Can IGA, Hagens, and
      QFC co exist with Bargain Market?

  2. Three of the four stores mentioned are basically the only ones I shop at. Pretty disappointed.

    1. WinCo is mostly employee owned and prices are lower. No credit cards allowed, but it’s definitely better in value and even in quality and choices. Still miss TopFoods, but WinCo it is…

  3. One employee at the QFC on 100th told me the staff is excited about the sale because it will make the QFC more like it used to be before Kroger. Let’s all hope so. Been shopping at QFC since the mid 1960’s (or whenever they opened their first stores). Since Kroger, I buy only the minimum of items & rarely go to Fred Meyer because of Kroger changes. I never hear anyone say a good word about Kroger.

    1. I’m with you. I feel like Kroger ruined QFC and Fred Meyer. My mom worked at the Shoreline Fred Meyer in the 1980’s. It was a completely different experience. And much better. Hopefully the QFC employee is right that the store will be more like the old days where the Q for Quality meant more than it does now.

  4. Well I think its fishy. I wonder if KKR that did the so
    called “friendly” takeover of Safeway in the mid 80’s is still
    involved…. Why would a grocery SUPPLIER buy 4 (?) stores on opposite coast from their base to “operate” . There is no mention of ANY retail operations by C&S they “supply 7,500 grocery stores” supply and operate… an apple & an orange! Something about it doesn’t sound right, and Kroger not dumping any Fred Meyers, just stores they acquired in last acquisition, so they can go forward and it looks like they might convince gov, see we are not a monopoly. I’d say court action or not, like the Safeway-Albertsons, its a done deal.

    1. Piggly Wiggly which is a grocery store in the Midwest is one Jean. I think we might get a better store out of this. I have shopped at QFC Edmonds for years and it did change as far as food quality, produce and meats after it was no longer really QFC ha. My favorite store of all times out here was Larrys. I loved Larrys you could buy the best of everything and even do your Holiday Shopping ha. Central Market is the closest to that I have seen for a long long time. I would imagine they will still have pharmacies as pharmacists and customer service help even in those isles of non RX are money makers and the P staff will answer questions for customers and well there is sales tax in those isles on some items? I guess we will see. I frankly would like to see who ever it is have Clean Produce. Items that don’t expire overnight. I do think Winco has the best prices and for named brand they have a lot. I also used to go to Ranch Market. I went once looking for an ingredient for stir-fry. I was wowed by their produce department. The checkers and aisle helpers honestly were the nicest friendliest pleasant workers in a grocery store had seen in years.

  5. Due to the prevailing economic conditions mergers and acquisitions will be quite common in the retail grocery chain businesses. There are plenty of choices to go by if one doesn’t like the offerings in one place or the other. That’s what market capitalism is about and one has to grin and bear it!

  6. When this happens will the stores still have pharmacies? The pharmacy at Westgate is very busy and convenient for Edmonds customers.

  7. I’m a Winco/Walmart and Grocery Outlet shopper mostly. However, many who shop at QFC 100th, QFC 196th and 76th and Safeway 196th and Hwy 99 do not drive and many have limited mobility. These shoppers either walk, use ride shares or take our excellent public transportation. If these stores were to outright close, they will experience greater hardships. Furthermore, it also looks like bus service is being eliminated on 5th starting mid September.

    We saw these same concerns when Petosa and then IGA closed. Let’s hope the options will continue.

    1. Scratch the elimination of service comment for 5th Ave. A new all day route between Edmonds Station and Mountlake Terrace Transit Center will operate on 5th.

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