Albertsons’ Mid-Atlantic division, ACME Markets, has emerged as the successful bidder for 27 Kings Food Market and Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market locations.
Increasing competition leading to bankruptcy
The retailer’s parent company, KB US Holdings, filed for bankruptcy in August, having faced significant competition in its operating region. The company operated a total of 35 stores. This included 25 supermarkets in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, trading under the Kings Food Market banner and 10 smaller format stores trading as Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market and Balducci’s Gourmet on the Go in New York, Connecticut, Maryland Pennsylvania and Virginia. Both chains operated in the premium segment, with a focus on quality ingredients, chef prepared meals and specialty items.
Source: IGD Research
The transaction, which is subject to regulatory and court approvals, is expected to close later this fiscal year. The stores will be integrated into Albertsons’ Mid-Atlantic division, alongside its existing ACME and Safeway stores. They are expected to form part of its ‘Ultra-premium’ segment, which also includes Pavilions, Star Market, Market Street, Haggen and Andronicos banners. Haggen and Andronicos are also smaller, differentiated chains which have thrived under Albertsons’ ownership following their acquisition. The retailer plans to operate the stores as Kings Food Market and Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market.
Further consolidation to come
These acquisitions will add to the retailer’s existing 20 supermarket banners, reflecting its acquisitive approach to growth. It operates over 2,200 stores across the US. Earlier this year, we highlighted that food retail markets in developed countries would experience increased levels of concentration, with larger operators gaining scale, post COVID-19. This builds on a key trend reshaping supermarket retailing in the US, with further consolidation expected over the next few years.
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