Newsday reports that Ahold Delhaize-owned Stop & Shop is ending its planned acquisition of King Kullen, the 37-store Long Island, New York, supermarket chain.
The two companies cited marketplace changes created by the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic as the reason they could not conclude a deal, but would not get more specific than that.
The acquisition originally was announced in December 2018. No price for the purchase was disclosed.
Newsday notes that even without King Kullen, which has been in business for 90 years, Stop & Shop still "has the largest grocery market share on Long Island, where it employs more than 8,000 workers at 51 stores."
- KC's View:
I hope this is not a case of King Kullen, experiencing a surge in sales because it suddenly was seen as "essential" because of the pandemic, getting an inflated sense of self-worth. I don't know of anyone on Long Island that ever would've described King Kullen as essential before the pandemic, and in a lot of ways, I suspect that King Kullen may be as vulnerable to strong competition - from companies ranging from Amazon to Walmart to Aldi to Stew Leonard's - as any US supermarket chain.
Stop & Shop may have seen King Kullen as being a real estate play, and sometimes you have to know when to walk away from a deal that no longer makes sense.