Where do you shop for groceries? Pick ’n Save? Fry’s,? Copps? Dillons? If so, you shop at Kroger. Yep, the Cincinnati-based grocery goliath owns all those other-named stores, and then some.
Kroger is the biggest grocery store chain in the country and, according to sources, it could be getting a lot bigger – and a lot more organic. Rumor has it that Kroger is considering buying Whole Foods.
Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods currently operates 439 stores in the U.S., as well as 11 in Canada and nine in the United Kingdom. Over the past three years, annual profits have been stuck around $550 million, due to competitors began offering natural and organic foods and upscale prepared meals.
Both Kroger and Whole Foods have been tight-lipped about the potential deal, but experts estimate that the acquisition could be valued at around $9.7 billion. But this rumor alone has generated an increase of five percent in Whole Foods stock as of last week.
And there is good reason to believe that the acquisition is on Kroger’s radar. The news follows Kroger’s rumored interest in buying The Fresh Market, which was sold earlier this year to Apollo Global Management. Kroger has shown a growing interest in organic food ventures. The grocery chain has moved aggressively to embrace and sell more natural and organic foods in the past few years, at an estimated payoff of $1 billion in sales from the house brand Simple Truth. So while an official deal is yet to be announced between the two grocery chains, one could already be in the Express Lane.