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Kroger and Albertsons may sell over 60 stores in Oregon

The Safeway on 18th and Pearl in Eugene. It's one of over 60 in Oregon that could be sold to C&S Wholesale Grocers.
Nathan Wilk
The Safeway on 18th and Pearl in Eugene. It's one of over 60 in Oregon that could be sold to C&S Wholesale Grocers.

The grocery company Kroger says it will sell over 60 stores in Oregon if its merger with Albertsons is approved.

Kroger oversees Fred Meyer and several other regional chains. It’s now seeking to spend $24.6 billion to buy Albertsons, which owns Safeway.

In February, federal regulators sued to block the merger. In a press release, the Federal Trade Commission argued the move would undercut workers and customers.

“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 FTC wrote.

In response, Kroger is offering to sell off nearly 580 stores to another competitor, C&S Wholesale Grocers. That’s over 150 more locations than in a previous proposal from last year.

"The companies believe the amended divestiture package will bolster their position in regulatory challenges to the proposed merger, including pending court proceedings," Kroger wrote in an April press release.

Now, the company has identified the stores it plans to give up. The list includes two locations in Eugene: the Safeway on 18th and Pearl, and the Albertsons off of River Road and Division.

Dozens of other stores across Oregon would also be affected, including in Bend, Redmond, Corvallis, Florence, and Newport. In Portland alone, C&S would purchase 21 new locations.

Back in April, Kroger promised that frontline workers would get to keep their jobs during the transition, and no stores would be shut down.

C&S currently supplies over 7,500 independent supermarkets in the U.S., according to the company's website. It also owns Piggly Wiggly and Grand Union, two grocery chains without locations in Oregon.

In the sale, the company would acquire a brand that's more familiar to some in the state: QFC, which already has several locations in Portland.

Federal regulators have previously expressed doubt about C&S's ability to become a significant competitor to a combined Kroger-Albertsons. A hearing on the merger is scheduled Aug. 26 in the U.S. District Court in Portland.

Nathan Wilk joined the KLCC News Team in 2022. He is a graduate from the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. Born in Portland, Wilk began working in radio at a young age, serving as a DJ and public affairs host across Oregon.