Stop & Shop’s Acquisition of King Kullen Canceled
Stop & Shop said Wednesday that its previous agreement to buy King Kullen Grocery Co. Inc. is now off. “A joint decision was made not to proceed with the acquisition because terms of the agreement could not be reached,” a press release said. No further details were given, and immediate comment from either of the food retailers was not available. Stop & Shop is a division of Ahold Delhaize USA.
The proposed deal, revealed last year, would have included King Kullen’s 32 supermarkets, five Wild by Nature stores and the use of its Bethpage, New York, corporate office.
The now cancelled acquisition came as Quincy, Massachusetts-based Stop & Shop moved to update its format to offer shoppers more access to fresh, fast, local and healthy product options. The chain was also working to improve such grocery technology as curbside pickup via automation and frictionless checkout by mobile app.
The Wednesday announcement about the terminated acquisition comes just days after news broke that a Stop & Shop sister banner, Salisbury, North Carolina-based Food Lion, wants to buy 46 Bi-Lo and 16 Harveys Supermarket stores in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia from Southeastern Grocers (SEG). The move reflects SEG's aim to cease operating stores under the Bi-Lo banner, and instead invest in its Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie chains. Jacksonville, Florida-based SEG will keep seeking other options for its remaining Bi-Lo stores.
Stop & Shop was last in the news for extending its employee pay increase during the pandemic. Workers will continue to receive their 10% pandemic pay bonus through July 4, the food retailer said in late May.