By George Anderson
Safeway has taken a fair amount of criticism over the years for its handling of chains it has acquired but, according to some, it may be the biggest beneficiary of a merger and acquisition deal it had nothing to do with.
According to a report in the East Bay Business Times, Safeway's stores in markets where Albertsons has stores may be able to take advantage of the normal transition stage that takes place during any change in ownership.
Neil Stern, senior partner at McMillan-Doolittle, agrees. "Any time you have a competitor go through a major change, you have the opportunity to solidify your customer base and poach some of their customers," he said.
Safeway has also timed its lifestyle store-remodeling program and marketing campaign to put itself in a good position to benefit from the uncertainty that comes with a change in ownership, said Mr. Stern.
Ted Taft, a partner in Meridian Consulting concurs. "Safeway has had lots of success with its new lifestyle stores," he said.
Moderator's Comment: Who other than those involved in the deal for Albertsons stand to benefit most from it? What will they need to do to gain a competitive advantage during the new ownership transition period? - George Anderson - Moderator
Which traditional grocer do you think stands to benefit most from the Albertsons sale?