WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP -- A potential $1 billion deal could impact a popular grocery store chain in our area.
Price Chopper has been owned and operated by the same family for 80 years, but now the chain could be in talks to be sold.
This year is the first time in Price Chopper's eight decades that a non-family member became CEO of its parent company.
Now, Price Chopper's future is uncertain. Several national media outlets are reporting grocery chain Albertsons Companies Inc. is in "advanced talks" to acquire Price Chopper for around $1 billion.
“They're buying the knowledge. They're buying the technology, buying out the competition, so to speak also,” said Fred Croop, an associate professor of business at Misericordia University.
It's not clear what impact the sale of Price Chopper would have on our area, but many shoppers point out when a company's owned for so long, it says something about them.
“It's a good company, good business, evidently, has to be if it lasts that long,” said one shopper.
Alberston's latest deal was buying Safeway in 2015. The company based in Idaho operates grocery stores under a variety of names, including one familiar to many in our area: Acme.
Acme shuttered its last store in our area about 20 years ago. There is no word on whether Albertsons would bring back the Acme name here if the Price Chopper deal goes through.
Now, with online grocery shopping and more big-box stores, experts say more regional grocery stores are being gobbled up by bigger ones.
“I think this is a trend that we're seeing and it will continue,” Croop said.
Even though negotiations may be in "advanced talks," it's important to note that those same media reports also caution that it is still possible for the deal negotiations could fall through. Albertsons told Newswatch 16 they don’t comment on speculation. A spokesperson for Price Chopper said it's a full blown rumor and we don't respond to rumors.