Albertsons Cos. has called on Mid-Atlantic division president Jim Perkins to play a key role in its pending merger with The Kroger Co. As the two grocers look to divest between 100 and 375 stores as part of their regulatory approval, Perkins will lead planning efforts for the potential Albertsons' subsidiary SpinCo, which the company is prepared to establish immediately prior to merger closing and operate as a standalone public company.
Reports from February stated that the stores set to be divested are located throughout the retailers’ respective footprints in different parts of the country, and the value of the stores could exceed $1 billion. The divested stores could be purchased by another large retailer or shifted under SpinCo.
Perkins began his grocery career more than 30 years ago as a courtesy clerk for Albertsons. He was named president of Acme Markets in 2013, then was appointed president of the Mid-Atlantic division in September 2020 as Albertsons' Acme Markets and Eastern divisions were consolidated.
Perkins will continue to serve as EVP of retail operations and special projects for Albertsons. Replacing Perkins as head of Albertsons’ Mid-Atlantic division is current SVP of merchandising and marketing Tom Lofland. He began his career with Albertsons in 1990 and previously served as president of its Eastern Division.
While the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) continues to review the proposed $24.6 billion merger between Kroger and Albertsons, there has been a flurry of activity from consumer groups, lawmakers and others to put the brakes on the deal or to at least pump the brakes amid concerns about the size and scope of the new operation at a time of tough competition and high inflation.
Earlier this month, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) called on the FTC to block the proposed merger, which it said would result in fewer grocery stores and higher food prices — negatively affecting food and nutrition security for consumers around the country.
In April, however, Albertsons CEO Vivek Sankaran and Rodney McMullen of Kroger shared a jointly-penned opinion letter to the editors of the Cincinnati Enquirer and Cincinnati.com. The leaders sought to dispel misconceptions around the proposed merger between their organizations. They emphasized their respective legacies of serving customers while also pointing to the marketplace changes that led to their decision to pool their businesses.
Serving 60 million households annually nationwide through a digital shopping experience, and almost 2,800 retail food stores under a variety of banner names, Cincinnati-based Kroger is No. 4 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons operates more than 2,200 retail stores with 1,700-plus pharmacies, 402 associated fuel centers, 22 dedicated distribution centers and 20 manufacturing facilities in 34 states. The company is No. 9 on The PG 100.