Albertsons Cos. shared its Q3 earnings report in advance of an FTC decision on the grocer's pending merger with Kroger.
Welcome to The Friday 5, Progressive Grocer’s new weekly roundup of the top news and trends in the food retail industry. Each Friday, we’ll take a look at the stories that are most important to our readers and also keep tabs on the trends that are poised to impact grocers.
The new year is coming in with a bang as food retailers across the country announce new programs and partnerships aimed at helping their customers live healthier lives, as well as technology-focused initiatives that will forever change the trajectory of the grocery industry.
Here’s the rundown on those topics, updates on the Kroger/Albertsons merger and more.
1. Albertsons Cos. Releases Q3 Earnings
Ahead of the anticipated Federal Trade Commission (FTC) decision on whether or not to allow The Kroger Co. and Albertsons Cos. to move forward with their pending merger, Albertsons Cos. delivered its third quarter financial results, which saw an identical-sales increase of 2.9%. The company also grew its net sales and other revenue to $18.6 billion in Q3, compared with $18.2 billion last year.
According to Bloomberg, Kroger and Albertsons are bracing for an FTC lawsuit over the proposed $24.6 billion agreement as opposition builds against the supermarket mega-deal. The agency has until Jan. 17 to decide to sue or settle the merger, though it’s also been reported that the Washington State Attorney General is expected to sue in state court in an attempt to block the merger.
2. AI Takes Center Stage
Technology trade show CES, which was held Jan. 9-12 in Las Vegas, brought a bevy of future-forward announcements from grocers, especially related to AI. Walmart unveiled plans to deliver a new type of commerce that is customer-centric, interconnected and frictionless, and based on technologies like AI, generative AI and augmented reality. Sam’s Club also made a splash during the trade show as the warehouse retailer shared a first-of-its-kind application of AI and computer vision technology that will eliminate queuing at its exit areas.
Progressive Grocer Editor-in-Chief Gina Acosta was on the ground at CES and shared that data, trust and cybersecurity should be top of mind for all food retailers looking to bring AI into their operations.