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Arizona attorney general hosts listening session in Yuma

The listening session discussed the Kroger-Albertsons proposed merger and what it means for Arizonans

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Arizona Attorney General, Kris Mayes hosted a listening session in Yuma, discussing the proposed Kroger-Albertsons merger. 

Kroger, the the company that owns Fry’s, agreed to buy Albertsons in a deal to combine the two supermarket chains in October 2022, but now several locals concerned about what this could mean for their future. 

"We’ve got two Fry’s and we’ve got two Albertsons. I can’t see us keeping those four stores open to be honest with you, just I don’t see it,” said Fry's employee, Mario Muñoz.

Muñoz has been working at Fry’s in Yuma for 35 years and says he’s been through many mergers before, saying it never goes how they say it will.
“Benefit’s have went down, pay has went down. I understand it’s what’s best for the company, but I’ve also seen where they’ve shut down stores as well and we’ve lost employees to unemployment,” said Muñoz.

The Arizona Attorney General's Office is investigating the merger under anti-trust laws.

Now hosting these listening sessions to hear from Arizonans.

Kris Mayes says most Yumans she heard from are concerned.
“Access to fresh food, the concern about stores in certain parts of town potentially being shut down, concerns about employment and whether people would be laid off,” said Kris Mayes, Arizona Attorney General.

However, one local who owns a grocery store outlet, says he's for the merger.
“Every store we have is Walmart versus Albertsons, Walmart versus Fry’s,” said Robert Scarborough, Green Trees Grocery Outlet Owner.

Mayes says the merger would have a major impact in Arizona, as Kroger and Albertsons operate more than 250 stores combined.

The supermarket chains employ over 35,000 Arizona workers and account for almost half of Arizona's grocery market sales.
“We’re already living in a time if high inflation and people cannot afford it if we have grocery stores that merge and then have the market power to increase and jack up prices,” said Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes.

Mayes says after she finishes hosting discussions in cities throughout Arizona, she and her team will make a final decision about whether to block the merger. 

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Samantha Byrd

Samantha Byrd joined the KYMA team as a reporter in February 2022.

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