Kroger Mulling Potential Acquisition of Overstock.com
Overstock.com gained as much as 4.5 percent on speculation that supermarket giant Kroger Co. might acquire the e-commerce company. The New York Post reported on Friday that the grocery chain may be eyeing a deal with Overstock, citing unidentified sources. Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne said in December that selling the e-commerce business to a brick-and-mortar retailer was a possibility. He aims to refocus on the burgeoning field of blockchain technology. A Kroger-Overstock deal would extend a run of traditional retailers teaming up with online merchants. Amazon.com acquired Whole Foods for $13.7 billion last year, and Kroger itself is seen as a potential buyer for Boxed.com, an e-commerce version of Costco.
Total Retail's Take: Further consolidation in the retail industry appears to be on tap for 2018. Traditional brick-and-mortar retailers such as Kroger and Wal-Mart are looking to grow their businesses through strategic acquisitions of digital-native brands that can add new audiences as well as digital expertise to the legacy retailers. With more retail purchases being made online every year, traditional retailers are looking for ways to evolve their businesses to gain a larger share of those of online dollars — and take it away from Amazon in the process. Kroger buying Overstock would fit right in with this pattern.