Courtesy Photo, Safeway

Courtesy Photo, Safeway

Two Kent grocery stores on Kroger-Albertsons sale list

Safeway on SE Kent-Kangley and QFC on SE 240th Street

A Safeway store and QFC store in Kent are among the 124 grocery stores in the state that Kroger and Albertsons plan to sell to New Hampshire-based C&S Wholesale Grocers as they move ahead with their merger.

Kroger and Albertsons on Tuesday, July 9 released the locations of 579 stores across the nation it plans to sell as part of a corporate merger first announced in 2022.

Kent stores on the list are the Safeway store at 13101 SE Kent-Kangley Road and the QFC store at 13304 SE 240th St. Safeway has two other Kent locations that are not on the list at 210 Washington Ave. S. and at 20830 108th Ave. SE.

Leaders of the grocery companies claim the merger and sale won’t change anything, but local unions say the merger would harm workers and customers.

In addition to its own stores, Kroger owns the QFC and Fred Meyer brands while Albertsons owns the Safeway and Haggen brands.

The chief executive officers of Kroger and Albertsons said in a joint video statement that the sales will lead to lower prices and more choices for customers.

C&S owns the Piggly Wiggly and Grand Union brands, with more than 600 Piggly Wiggly stores in 18 states in the South and Midwest and 11 Grand Union stores in New York and Vermont, according to the websites for each brand.

“Divested stores are not closed stores,” Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen said in a video statement.

McMullen added that C&S has said it will continue to operate the stores as they are today and honor all collective bargaining agreements. He said the company will not close stores or lay off employees.

‘Not a done deal’

A coalition of United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) local unions released the following statement in response to the Kroger-Albertsons announcement:

“Today’s (July 9) announcement changes nothing,” said Tom Geiger, special projects director for Seattle-based UFCW 3000. “The merger is not a done deal, far from it. We remain focused on stopping the proposed mega-merger for the same reasons we have stated since it was first announced over 20 months ago — because we know it would harm workers, it would harm shoppers, it would harm suppliers and communities, and it is illegal.

“The merger proposal was rejected in January and February by the Attorneys General from the states of Colorado and Washington and the Federal Trade Commission. We applaud their actions. They have been in possession of this proposed divestiture list, made public today by the companies, for months and that did not change their opposition to the proposed merger. These legal challenges to the proposed merger are moving forward with hearings beginning at the end of July and scheduled to go through September.”

Other stores near Kent on the sale list include QFC, 4800 NE Fourth St., in Renton; Safeway, 200 S. Third St., in Renton; Safeway, 17023 SE 272nd St., in Covington; and Safeway, 27035 Pacific Highway S., in Des Moines.

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