A gigantic supermarket takeover with big impacts in Southern California is headed to federal regulators for approval today, as Albertsons is buying Safeway — and its Vons stores.
At a shareholders meeting Friday near San Francisco, 96 percent of the shareholders in Safeway approved the $9.2 billion purchase offer from Albertson’s, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
The supermarket chains have some overlap in Southern California, where Safeway’s local chain Vons has 279 stores and Albertson’s has 181. Some of those stores might be closed, and the Federal Trade Commission might order Albertsons to sell some to competitors, the newspaper reported.
Albertsons has not indicated what store names will change, if any. The deal will create a network of 2,000-plus stores, 27 distribution warehouses and more than 250,000 employees across western states.
That chain will be slightly smaller than market leader Kroger, which has 2,600 markets, the Mercury News reported. Kroger operates Ralphs supermarkets in California.
Traditional supermarkets are facing market pressures at one end from from big-box stores like Walmart and Target, and the other from specialty grocery stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, analysts have said.