Back when Albertsons did their 2012 round of closings in Florida which left them with 4 stores left across the entire state, I heard quite a few rumors that Kroger was interested in purchasing what remained of Albertsons Florida. As you can see, that never seemed to happen...at least yet.
However, the other day I was doing some Googling and I stumbled across two very interesting articles about Kroger from the Cincinnati Business Courier and the Jacksonville Business Journal (Although the articles are from July 2013, they're still pretty interesting). Back in January, Kroger finalized their purchase of the Harris Teeter chain. Harris Teeter only operates one store in Florida, which is right over the Georgia border in Fernandina Beach, Nassau County, north of Jacksonville. Supermarket analysts consider this to be Kroger's "foot in the door" to re-enter the Florida market after a failed attempt back in the 80's.
|An old SupeRx price tag I found on some old Christmas light bulbs at the thrift store yesterday, coincidentally.
With the rebranding to the Florida Choice name, Kroger began to remodel and replace older SupeRx Food and Drug, Orlando Foodway, and Sunshine stores and replace them with larger, more upscale oriented Florida Choice stores to compete with stores like Publix. Around the same the the Florida Choice rebranding was occurring, Florida's 107 SupeRx stand alone pharmacies were sold off to Rite Aid when Kroger eliminated their stand alone pharmacy division (and Rite Aid pulled out of Florida soon after). Also in 1987, Kroger purchased Family Mart from A&P, bringing the Florida Choice store count to 43 stores across the state.
|The logo for Kroger's short lived Florida Choice division.
Kroger hasn't said anything official about this yet, and they won't comment on it, but maybe in the next few years, we'll see Kroger stores appearing in Florida once again. As always, the Albertsons Florida Blog will keep on top of this if anything new appears.
If you want to read the two articles I mentioned earlier, you can access them here and here.
Until Next Time,
The Albertsons Florida Blogger