Harris Teeter’s parent company is selling one or more of the Maryland-based grocery stores to the chain behind the Piggly Wiggly franchise.
The Kroger Co. announced plans this month to sell 10 Harris Teeter stores located in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., ahead of its planned merger with the Idaho-based Albertsons Companies Inc.
Kroger has not identified which of the 18 Harris Teeters located in Maryland are slated to be sold to C&S, a private wholesale grocery supply chain that operates Grand Union grocery stores and the Piggly Wiggly franchise.
“Because we are still in the regulatory process, we are not in a position at this time to share the specific locations that will be divested to continue serving the community under a different owner,” read a statement from a Kroger spokesperson. “We anticipate being able to share these details closer to closing.”
The sale is part of a larger divestment plan hatched by the grocery retail giants that affects 413 stores, eight distribution centers, two offices and five private-label brands nationwide.
Kroger’s plan may help ease regulatory concerns ahead of the company’s consolidation with Albertsons. The Federal Trade Commission, the agency responsible for enforcing civil antitrust laws and promoting consumer protections, has required other major grocery store retailers to sell stores as a condition of a merger.
Consolidation across the grocery retail industry has accelerated substantially since 1990. Research suggests this trend contributes over time to higher prices for consumers, producers and especially low-income households with food accessibility challenges.