Skip to main content

Kroger Vows No Disruption in Oregon Health Services Following Albertsons Merger

Assurances came in letter to state’s Health Authority
Fred Meyer Bellevue WA Main Image
Fred Meyer (pictured) and Safeway play a key role in providing health care services, medicine and nutritious foods across Oregon.

The Kroger Co. has moved to address concerns that arose during a recent Health Care Market Oversight (HCMO) Review Board meeting on the proposed merger between Kroger and Albertsons Cos. and divestiture plan with C&S LLC, after the community review board voted to recommend that the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) reject the Kroger-Albertsons merger. 

“Fred Meyer and Safeway play a critical role in providing necessary health care services, medicine and healthy food options across the state,” wrote Kroger Health President Colleen Lindholz in the June 12 letter to Dr. Sejal Hathi, of the OHA, in Salem. “We take great pride in having done so for 100 years, fueled by our work force of more than 13,000 associates. As the operator of these beloved banners, we have a responsibility to the communities we serve and take this, along with your concern for the health and well-being of Oregon’s citizens, very seriously.”

Added Lindholz: “We are certain that C&S’ considerable resources and regional expertise, along with the resources it will gain as part of the divestiture package, will position it to successfully operate stores and pharmacies following the merger close.”

[RELATED: Stopping Mergers Won’t Save Grocery Stores]

She went on to clarify four key points:

  • That no stores or pharmacies would close as a result of the merger, with a commitment to zero front-line layoffs, and no changes to PBMs it works with or the insurance networks it participates in in Oregon.
  • That the company would continue to lower prices and expand access to fresh, high-quality and affordable food alongside credible, expert health care.
  • That the merger would improve community health by providing convenient health care locations for customers across the state.
  • That the company would remain committed to Oregon communities and, through the merger, be able to provide better access to necessary health services in medically underserved areas.

“We strongly believe these points ensure that this merger advances our vision to help people across Oregon – and America – live healthier lives,” noted Lindholz, who requested a formal meeting with OHA staff members.

Since it was first revealed in October 2022, the proposed merger of two of America’s biggest grocers has been beset by regulatory and legal obstacles, as well as heated opposition from many labor representatives. A hearing date of Aug. 26 has been set by Judge Adrienne Nelson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon regarding the FTC’s request for a preliminary injunction against the deal. Kroger and Albertsons have also taken new steps to get the deal approved, adding 166 more stores to the list of locations to be sold off to C&S, for a total of 579, including the Haggen banner. 

Kroger Health and the Kroger Family of Pharmacies and The Little Clinic, LLC operate more than 2,200 pharmacies and 226 clinics in 35 states, with its team of 24,000 health care practitioners serving more than 17 million customers annually.

Cincinnati-based Kroger is No. 4 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2024 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons is No. 9 on The PG 100. PG also named Kroger and Albertsons among the Retailers of the Century. Keene, N.H.-based C&S is No. 18 on PG’s list.

Advertisement - article continues below
This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds