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Is Kroger poised to snap up Whole Foods?

(AUSTIN NEWS) Could the largest grocery store chain in the U.S. take over one of the nation’s favorite organic retailers? Kroger may have their eyes set on Whole Foods, but will the merger actually take place?

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Water cooler talk

The rumor mill is churning about the possibility of the largest grocery store chain in the country making a new acquisition. This acquisition could not only grow their reach, but also, help them provide a great deal more organic.

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If the rumors hold true, Kroger could soon be buying Whole Foods. While nothing has been set in stone, according to the Consumerist and Cincinnati.com, the merger could be worth approximately $9.7 billion.

Everything is hush-hush

Both Kroger and Whole Foods have declined to comment about the potential merger, but analysts believe this agreement makes sense, based on Kroger’s past purchases.

For example, rumors were flying that Kroger has interest in buying The Fresh Market, which was sold earlier this year. While Kroger did not wind up purchasing the franchise, they did make several attempts, proving that oftentimes the rumors are true.

Beneficial for both parties

This deal would also make sense for Kroger since they’ve gained an estimated $1 billion in sales from their own brand of organic foods, Simple Truth. Adding the Whole Foods brand and line of organic offerings could continue to boost Kroger’s ventures.

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It also looks as though Whole Foods may be ready to sell as their stock has decreased in value by nearly half since 2013. Again, according to the Consumerist, sales have stagnated between $550 million and $580 million for the past three years. While that is certainly no small number, it’s not as high as it used to be either; leading us to believe that there is a strong possibility that Whole Foods may be on the lookout for a merger.

What about Austin?

There seems to be one drawback though, that no one is discussing: what will this mean for Austin – where Whole Foods is headquartered?

Will Kroger take over their offices?

Will they integrate their staff into their production, or will the current team at Whole Foods be out of work?

Of course, since this is all still merely whispers, it’s too early to tell what will happen when and if Kroger decides to buy Whole Foods. Hopefully, they’ll make the decision to keep some type of headquarters or offices in Austin; after all, they are already well-established.  Only time will tell if this merger takes place, but if it does, we fervently hope they retain the Austin market.

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Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

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