Member Exclusive   //   March 28, 2024

Research Briefing: How the Kroger-Albertsons merger impacts retail media networks

By Li Lu

In this edition of the weekly briefing, we examine the FTC lawsuit that has paused the Kroger-Albertsons merger and its affect on retail media networks, as seen in data from Modern Retail+ Research.

Interested in sharing your perspectives on the future of retail, technology and marketing?

Apply to join the Modern Retail research panel.

The FTC’s prolonged lawsuit could impact retail media networks

Breaking News: In February, the Federal Trade Commission sued to block Kroger’s acquisition of Albertsons over concerns that it would become a monopoly and lead to price increases. Kroger has pushed back saying that Walmart is the clear top supermarket in the U.S. and, as such, the acquisition would not create a monopoly due to the large competitor in the market. Currently, the main dispute is whether or not Walmart is in the supermarket category. 

As the lawsuit continues, the merger between Kroger and Albertsons is on pause, which gives retailers time to adjust their retail media strategies in case the combined Kroger-Albertsons comes to fruition. 

Questions: If the Kroger-Albertsons merger succeeds, what are the expectations for the combined retail media group? What is the current state of retail media?

Answers From Research:

Kroger’s Kroger Precision Marketing was selected by 6% of survey respondents as a retail media network their company currently uses. However, through the company’s merger with supermarket giant Albertsons Companies (Albertsons has its own RMN, Albertsons Media Collective), the network may see an increase in adoption.  

Kroger’s merger with Albertsons would, according to experts, bring an increased focus to retail media, and the combined entity may even be able to challenge Walmart Connect by presenting brands with a more compelling ad offering and a greater breadth of data to use in ad targeting. On its own, Kroger Precision Marketing reported a 13% rise in engagement from digital shoppers in Q1 2023. The combined entity will be able to reach approximately 85 million households, according to the two companies when they announced the merger. 

Ahead of the possible merger, Kroger and Albertsons are two of several retail media network partners that recently collaborated with Omnicom Media Group to help it hammer out retail media-related data standards, as outlined in OMG’s Council on Accountability and Standards in Advertising retail subgroup.

Want to learn more: Modern Retail+ Research’s analysis of retail media networks examines the direction that retail media networks are headed.


See research from all Digiday Media Brands:

Modern Retail+ Research
Digiday+ Research
Glossy+ Research