Could Kroger Buy Whole Foods?
Reports emerged late last week that Kroger is mulling a takeover of Whole Foods Market. Published reports said Kroger was considering a $40 per share bid for Whole Foods — an offer that would equal a $13 billion takeover. Officials from Kroger, however, declined to discuss "rumors and speculation" regarding a potential deal. Whole Foods also declined to comment. If a transaction took place, it would be the most expensive in the U.S. grocery industry since beleaguered Albertsons was bought for $16.1 billion a decade ago and later split apart. Today, Kroger is the world's third-largest retailer.
Total Retail's Take: Right now, the merger is speculation, but a Kroger-Whole Foods deal could be intriguing. Whole Foods has been struggling with sales growth since 2013, so the influx of cash would be a boon for the chain. Also, if Kroger did buy Whole Foods, the grocery store operator could gain a foothold in markets where it has no stores. Whole Foods is also a leader in prepared foods, and this would be an asset for Kroger. However, the jury is out on if this deal will indeed go through. We will be watching.
Melissa Campanelli is Editor-in-Chief of Total Retail. She is an industry veteran, having covered all aspects of retail, tech, digital, e-commerce, and marketing over the past 20 years. Melissa is also the co-founder of the Women in Retail Leadership Circle.