Albertsons Eyeing Sprouts & Whole Foods

Looking for organic grocery chain

Albertsons wants to add an organic grocery chain to it's mega shopping basket.

According to Bloomberg and the Financial Times, Albertsons is considering taking over Whole Foods or merging with Sprouts. 

"Any business in today's market is for sale," said San Diego State University (SDSU) marketing professor Miro Copic.  

He said Whole Foods has been struggling, closing stores and experimenting with a smaller cheaper space named 365 by Whole Foods. Part of the problem is that more traditional grocery stores and discount chains have started carrying organic lables. On top of that, Amazon could be stealing away younger shoppers by adding online grocery sales.

"Whole Foods is trying to figure out who they are in this new era of really competitive pricing in the supermarket retail space," said Copic.

Neither Albertsons nor Whole Foods are commenting on the report.  

Copic said if Albertsons were to be successful in taking over Whole Foods, it is unlikely shoppers would see any significant difference at the store level.  But the equity and expertise from the supermarket giant might help future growth and profitability for Whole Foods.

Whatever happens, Copic says the future is ripe for changes.

"This is going to be the wild, wild west for the next five years," said Copic, "Big changes in the malls. There's gonna be big changes in the supermarkets."

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