Grocery Store Merger Could Affect Alaskans

If all goes as planned, two supermarket chains could soon become one. But two state lawmakers here in Alaska are trying to stop that from happening.

Last month, Kroger announced plans to buy Albertsons. We, of course, have both brands here in Alaska. And there are concerns that a merger could negatively impact us.

State Representatives Zack Fields and Ivy Spohnholz are pushing for the federal trade commission to block the merger. Representative Fields tells me:

“Competition is good for consumers and without it, prices will likely jump. Take a place like midtown Anchorage, Juneau, two locations in Fairbanks, Kenai or the Mat-Su valley, instead of two grocery stores being close and competing on price, you would only have one store. And again it’s not bad intentions, it’s just the basic laws of economics that those stores would tend to have higher prices because they would be able to charge higher prices. And at a time of significant inflation we can’t afford higher prices on food.”