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KPBS Midday Edition

Expert: Kroger-Albertsons merger unlikely to benefit consumers

Albertsons supermarket Sav-on Pharmacy COVID-19 testing
Alexander Nguyen
/
KPBS
An Albertsons supermarket in San Diego County on March 21, 2022.

Supermarket chains Kroger and Albertsons announced a plan to merge last week, leaving employees nervous and consumers concerned about the implications of the move.

The merger of the brands that include Ralphs, Vons and Safeway is valued at almost $25 billion, and would represent an estimated 19% of the American grocery market.

Industry expert and journalist Benjamin Lorr said these kinds of mergers are inevitable in the current business model that supermarkets operate under, and are unlikely to result in lower costs for customers.

"It's clear that they're not incentivized to [lower prices], and it's very likely that those savings will just go into corporate buybacks, executive bonuses and profits," Lorr said.

Lorr, who authored the book "The Secret Life of Groceries: The Dark Miracle of the American Supermarket,” joined Midday Edition on Thursday with more on the proposed merger.

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