CASPER, Wyo. — Two of the country’s largest supermarket chains announced they will merge in a deal for $24.6 billion.
According to NPR News, Kroger, which owns the Smith’s brand among others, employs some 420,000 employees and runs 2,700 stores. Brands include Ralphs, Fred Meyer and King Soopers.
Albertsons is the country’s second-largest grocery retailer, with 2,300 stores including the Safeway and Vons brands.
The Safeway brand was retired in Wyoming when Albertsons bought the company in 2015.
Albertsons operates two grocery stores in Casper, and Smith’s operates one store.
“Through a family of well-known and trusted supermarket banners, this combination will expand customer reach and improve proximity to deliver fresh and affordable food to approximately 85 million households,” the companies said in a joint statement.
According to the New York Times, “even before the deal was announced on Friday, consumer protection groups had begun to raise concerns about the possibility following reports of a possible merger.”