Colorado has had a flurry of retail and grocery store news as of late. 

Whether it is Target stores across Colorado adding Public Improvement Fees to their bills or big box stores like Walmart starting to lock up items like underwear to prevent theft, it feels like stores are constantly in the news. 

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However, some massive news just released about a merger that has threatened to affect the lives of Colorado shoppers for years to come. 

Colorado Attorney General, Phil Weiser, Files Lawsuit to Stop the Kroger and Albertsons Merger

Brandon Bell // Getty Images
Brandon Bell // Getty Images

If you’ve been in the loop over the last few months, you know that two massive grocery store companies, Kroger and Albertsons, have agreed on a merger. 

According to 9News, this lawsuit is in direct opposition to said merger. Colorado’s Attorney General, Phil Weiser, filed it in the Denver District Court. 

He argues that the merger spits in the face of Colorado’s own antitrust laws, wanting the merger to be completely nullified. 

He also stated that the communities that will be affected by it range from Colorado’s large urban areas to small cities such as Cortez and Gunnison. 

Michael Ciaglo // Getty Images
Michael Ciaglo // Getty Images

It also asks for $1 million to be paid out by Albertsons and Kroger for the two chains’ 2022 collaboration to not hire any striking employees from the other chain. 

What Could a Kroger and Albertsons Merger Mean for Colorado Shoppers?

Mario Tama // Getty Images
Mario Tama // Getty Images

Some might wonder why this is a big deal at all, but the stakes could be very clear. 

For one, these companies have a large foothold in the Colorado grocery store market. Kroger owns the King Soopers and City Market lines of stores, while Albertsons owns Safeway and Albertsons stores across the state. 

Another concern has been the closure of stores across Colorado. When the deal was first struck, many people theorized this to be a possibility

However, the biggest concern is that the two former competitors merging will drive prices up. In this case, competition between the two brands is better for shoppers, since both chains had to keep prices down in order to keep customers coming back. 

With the merger, it eliminates a huge competitor on both sides. As reported by 9News, Weiser believes it will not only affect shoppers with store closures and higher prices, but will decrease customer service, worsen supply chains, and provide fewer jobs. 

In response, Kroger said they were sad to see the lawsuit, saying that it would increase the power of non-unionized stores such as Walmart, Costco, and Amazon. They also believe the merger will be the best for Colorado. 

Only time will tell if Weiser’s lawsuit will be successful in the long run. If it is, it could cause a lot of relief for shoppers across Colorado.

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