What this mega supermarket merger could mean for your grocery bills
Shoppers check out at a Trader Joe’s in San Francisco in the early 2000. The California-based grocery chain is merging with the national SuperValu chain, which is based in Virginia, as they look to the future. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg News)
It’s official: The $11.7 billion takeover of the nation’s largest supermarket chain by a national cooperative is a done deal.
After years of negotiations, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Justice signed off on a final regulatory opinion approving the transaction on Aug. 10, paving the way for the acquisition by the giant food retailer FreshDirect.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also approved the buyout at the same time, allowing the acquisition to move forward.
What’s left is a matter of getting the merger completed in time for the start of the new year on Jan. 1.
The $12.8 billion deal will bring FreshDirect, which has nearly 700 stores in 25 states, into the largest supermarket chain in the country. The two companies hope to create a grocery store for every 1,000 homes in the U.S. within five years, and have even discussed plans to make FreshDirect stores bigger and better than those that are now being sold in the United States.
There have been a number of changes since the last time a nationwide merger was completed. With these changes, it’s more of a “what might have been” and less of a “that could have been” when it comes to the grocery shopping experience in the country.
For one, the company has been through a major expansion in the past decade. From an initial store base in New York to currently nearly 800 stores in 25 states, the biggest grocery store chain has been growing in size and scope.
“We really only took a very limited look at FreshDirect because it’s been successful in New York,” said Eric Rosenbaum, chief executive officer of FreshDirect, in an interview with Food Business News last year.
He was responding to a question about why the grocery giant was acquiring the supermarket chain, which was acquired by S