Yes, this doesn't directly relate to Florida, but let me explain...
Remember all of that hype earlier this year that Kroger was looking into making another acquisition after the dust from the Harris Teeter sale settled down? Supposedly Kroger was looking to make an acquisition in a market where they currently did not have a presence, which made most of the media outlets point their fingers at Florida and a possible acquisition of Winn-Dixie by Kroger. Well, the other day the news broke about what that possible acquisition was going to be: Roundy's Supermarkets based out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The upper midwest is one of the three major markets where Kroger doesn't have much of a presence, in addition to Florida and the Northeast. Roundy's is actually a company that operates supermarkets under the names Pick n' Save, Copps, Metro Market, and Mariano's in most of the major cities in Wisconsin and also the Chicago area. I have heard that Kroger was looking to bulk up their Chicago presence, and this acquisition is much closer to home for them than a Florida acquisition. The most interesting part is that Roundy's isn't exactly in the greatest financial shape. Kroger has always said that they like purchasing chains that are in good financial health, as they aren't in the market to turn around struggling stores (like would be the case with Winn-Dixie). It was a shocker to many that Kroger chose to do this, although speculation is that Kroger is only going into this deal for some of the prime Chicago real estate Roundy's has, along with making them the #1 supermarket chain in Milwaukee. Winn-Dixie is technically the #3 supermarket in Florida (behind Publix and Walmart), but they have lots of hard to get real estate, especially in the more urban areas of Florida, which could attract a potential buyer.
So, if you were one of those people looking forward to Kroger coming back to Florida, it looks like the wait may be even longer if they do choose to come back to the Sunshine State. But after some of the events of the past year, I could very well believe now that Albertsons could be a serious potential candidate at buying Winn-Dixie if they choose to sell out to someone. However, I feel that Kroger is strong enough to try a natural Florida expansion by building their own stores if they wanted to, something that I don't think Albertsons wouldn't be able to pull off again at this point.
That's probably enough rambling for now. If you want to read more about this new Kroger acquisition, the Cincinnati Business Courier has a really nice article about the topic which you can read here.
More Albertsons coming soon. So until the next time,
The Albertsons Florida Blogger