Grocery store merger means more choices

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The purchase of Safeway by the parent company of the Albertsons grocery chain should mean minimal visible changes to the two supermarkets’ stores, an industry expert says. Wider selection at Albertsons is the most likely outcome.

Stores might close in some areas where an Albertsons and a Safeway are close to each other, says supermarket research consultant David J. Livingston. Albertsons spokesperson Christine Wilcox says the company doesn’t expect to close any stores “at this time,” but she says it might sell stores to other operators. Livingston believes that the companies won’t close stores in other areas.

Shoppers at Albertsons stores might see some of Safeway’s popular private-label products, such as Eating Right and O Organics, says Scott Mushkin, who is an analyst at Wolfe Research.

The purchase awaits approval from Safeway shareholders and Federal Trade Commission.