- Since its merger with Safeway in 2015, Albertsons has grown its store ranks by 10% and created 26,000 new jobs, according to Grocery Headquarters.
- The company now employs 276,000 employees across its 2,230 stores.
- The new Albertsons has also increased its sustainability measures in two years’ time, including a responsible seafood policy and a commitment to transition to cage-free eggs by 2025.
Going by Albertsons’ account, company mergers are job creators and store builders.
The reality is a bit more complicated. Out of the 174 new stores Albertsons gained since its merger with Safeway, only 23 were new builds. The rest were acquisitions, including stores formerly belonging to Haggen and A&P.
In a crowded industry with an increasing number of alternative formats, growth for traditional players like Albertsons is coming through acquisition rather than erecting new stores. The number of locations remains fixed overall, as do most of the jobs, meaning the mergers aren’t quite the workforce builders many companies make them out to be.
At the same time, mergers and acquisitions preserve jobs that would otherwise be lost at struggling operators like Haggen, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy two years ago. It’s also worth noting that one of the primary drivers behind mergers and acquisitions these days is cost savings and synergies, which can save millions of dollars that can be invested into new locations. Traditional retailers may not be building lots of new stores, but M&A savings can allow companies to build more than they otherwise would.