It’s been 14 months since Jewel and Mariano’s parent companies announced they were combining in a $25 billion deal. Kroger (Mariano’s) and Albertsons (Jewel) hoped to be united by early 2024. But as opposition builds, the companies have since revised the closing date to the first half of fiscal year 2024, which — for Kroger — ends on August 12.
Axios reports the federal government in February is expected to announce if the creation of the mega-grocery chain would violate anti-trust regulations, one state has already filed a formal challenge to the deal which would create a chain with more than 5,000 stores. As the Federal Trade Commission ponders its next step, Washington state’s attorney general has filed a lawsuit to block the deal, according to Bloomberg.
The fear is the deal would limit competition between grocers and drive up prices. Albertsons and Kroger argue that they need scale to compete with Walmart and Amazon. For Chicago, it’s unclear what that means for Jewel and Mariano’s shoppers and the future of both brands.
This is not the only local grocery news. Dom’s Kitchen & Market, with locations in Lincoln Park and Old Town, has combined with Foxtrot, the corner store chain that started as a tech company, promoting customers to use their phone app to order. The entity has a new name, Outfox Hospitality, a move announced in November. Analysts guessed that Dom’s would benefit from Foxtrot’s push for gourmet foods, making products like Chicago hot dog-flavored potato chips, something that appeals to frequent restaurant diners.
The rise of Foxtrot’s snacks and goods was the subject of a new Fast Company story that mentions Chicago chef Palita Sritatana (Pink Salt Kitchens), a Thai American with a line of goods including nam prik pao.