Eber: Clean-up on Isle Five

It looks like Rich Eber does not trust Kroger or Albertsons.  After looking at their press release there is a question I have to ask—isn’t Krogers and Albertsons doing this already, without a merger?

·         “Serve America with Fresher Food, Faster: Delivers broader portfolio of the freshest products through an expanded store network, optimized supply chain and enhanced capabilities

·         Best-in-Class Personalized Experience: provides unmatched personalized experience and promotes healthier lifestyles

·         Expanded Our Brands Portfolio to Offer Customers Higher Quality and Better Value: Brings together Kroger and Albertsons Cos.’ private label portfolios to offer customers a wider range of products at affordable prices with enhanced innovation capabilities and an increased manufacturing footprint

·         Seamless Customer Experience Requiring Zero Compromise: Creates a single seamless ecosystem to offer a more personalized and convenient omnichannel experience to serve customers anything, anytime, anywhere with zero compromise on quality, selection and affordability

What a bunch of BS.  Based on the press release I trust the 99 cent store more than Krogers or Albertsons.  Maybe they should not be merged—instead taken over by real grocers.

Clean-up on Isle Five by Richard Eber

Richard Eber, Exclusive to the California Political News and Views  12/8/22

Perhaps I’m not the brightest star in the galaxy; but even an ignorant coupon free guy like me can figure out Safeway’s  two dollar off special deal on butter marked up to over eight bucks a pound , isn’t going to save  my family any money.

During inflationary times one needs to shop with discipline to make ends meet.  Many of Safeway’s deals border on being scams intended to extract every penny possible from their customers.  In addition, the quality of their signature brands from meatballs to popsicles is marginal at best.

In the course of my life, I have not heard one person ever say Safeway’s house brands ever compared in quality to any product marketed under the Trader Joe’s logo.

I only wish their parent company Albertson’s was as dedicated to customers as their shareholders.

With this dismal record of non-performance can we ever trust the conglomerate Albertson’s-Safeway to improve their performance once the merger with Kroger is completed next year?

Even taking account a leap of faith perspective , is it possible to believe the press release signed by Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen that read, “The combination of Kroger and Albertsons Companies brings together two purpose-driven organizations to deliver superior value to customers, associates, communities and shareholders.”

The two companies promised

·         Serve America with Fresher Food, Faster: Delivers broader portfolio of the freshest products through an expanded store network, optimized supply chain and enhanced capabilities

·         Best-in-Class Personalized Experience: provides unmatched personalized experience and promotes healthier lifestyles

·         Expanded Our Brands Portfolio to Offer Customers Higher Quality and Better Value: Brings together Kroger and Albertsons Cos.’ private label portfolios to offer customers a wider range of products at affordable prices with enhanced innovation capabilities and an increased manufacturing footprint

·         Seamless Customer Experience Requiring Zero Compromise: Creates a single seamless ecosystem to offer a more personalized and convenient omnichannel experience to serve customers anything, anytime, anywhere with zero compromise on quality, selection and affordability

To these corporate platitudes and promises I can only say “Baloney!”  Tom Shane and George Zimmer are better friends of mine than Kroger and Albertsons-Safeway.

Apparently I am not alone in challenging the merger of these oligopolies.  Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum filed a lawsuit objecting to Albertson’s bestowing 4 billion dollars to their shareholders (for stock worth $34.10) in the 25 billion dollar merger. She felt this move would diminish the resources at the new company’s ability to serve their customers

California joined the lawsuit of Oregon along with several states resulting in a temporary injunction being imposed against Albertson’s generous dividend.  This maneuver is an indication of coming attractions for the new entity whose who will undoubtedly be dedicated to promoting corporate greed.

This indicates improving the end product to the public is hardly a priority of either party in uniting the two food giant empires. While Rosenblum’s lawsuit looks good on paper, it does not address the major issues of the proposed Albertson’s-Kroger merger.

In my mind both of these companies having union employees is not justification of government to look the other way in scrutinizing this flawed merger.  Answering President Reagan’s question pertaining to food shopping “are you better off than four years ago”, the answer is an emphatic “no”!

Gavin Newsom in calling a special session of the legislature to deal with alleged excess profits of oil companies in California; may choose to consider the impacts of this mega supermarket deal at the same time,.   Over the long run, the Albertson’s-Kroger marriage will have more impact on the Governor’s constituents than show boating on prices paid at the pump; that will be tied up in the courts for years.

It is doubtful California’s Progressive Governor especially cares what anyone might think about his oil antics. They are tailored to fit his run for the Democratic nomination for President. Despite what Newsom might be saying in not planning on running in 2024, I wouldn’t bet the ranch on his changing his mind, once Joe Biden chooses to steps down.

At the same time, defying his union supporters, who favor the Albertson’s-Kroger merger plans, will never happen under this ambitious politician’s reign.

Also unlikely is if the elitist Newsom has ever visited the produce department at Safeway or Albertson’s. Had the Governor done so he would not only be oblivious to the high prices; but also find fruits and vegetables picked far before their prime to reduce spoilage. The same goes for the mediocre bakery, meat, or deli departments their customers must endure each week.

Where I reside in Concord and throughout the state, few choices exist where one can economically shop for food.   Currently we are prisoners to the Albertson Empire along with Wal-Mart and Costco, where membership is required.  Reducing shopping options just doesn’t seem like a good idea at the present time.

Our elected officials need to carefully assess the Kroger-Albertson’s merger that reeks of “clean-up on isle five” with zero remedies to fix the problem.

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.

Comments

  1. Rico Lagattuta says

    They probably are but they need a reason to get the merger approved other than to say it is to increase profit! The government should not be involved in Business unless there is public corruption involved.

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