How Would the Shaw’s Merger Affect Grocery Stores in Maine?
With the exception of a few locally-owned stores, the grocery store landscape in Maine is pretty much dominated by Hannaford and Shaw's.
And people tend to be fiercely loyal to their grocery store chain. Most people in Maine are either "Hannaford people" or "Shaw's people".
It looks like a major change is coming to one of those chains.
According to the KJ, Idaho-based Albertsons is in the process of merging with grocery store giant Kroger. Both Shaw's and Star Market, Shaw's sister grocery store chain, are owned by Albertsons.
According to the article, Kroger and Albertsons own a total of 5,500 grocery stores. The merger is worth a reported $24.6 billion.
How will it affect grocery stores in Maine? That remains to be seen.
Currently, there are 19 Shaw's stores in the State of Maine. According to the article, representatives for the chains have said that they do not plan to close any of the 5,000+ stores included in the merger, but it remains to be seen what changes could be coming to the stores. Potential changes could include rebranding of stores and changes in product selection.
One of the concerns about a potential rebranding of the stores is that a name change would mean a loss of the chain's locality, as it got its start in Maine.
The article explains that the takeover could happen as soon as January 13, 2024. The deal has been in the works since the fall of 2022. The supermarket giants feel the merger is necessary in order to allow them to compete against big box store competition.
Over the last decade, traditional grocery stores have seen an increase in competition from chain department stores like Walmart, Target, Sam's Club, and Costco. Even more recently, Amazon has started offering delivery of grocery items.
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