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The Cincinnati Business Courier reports that Rick Shea, president of Minneapolis-based Shea Food Consultants, is saying that Kroger plans to use its investment in the Lucky’s Markets natural/organic supermarket chain to get it into the Minneapolis market.

Shea tells the Courier that not only is Lucky's actively seeking sites in the Minneapolis/St. Paul market, but Kroger may be "considering an acquisition that would make it a major player in the Minneapolis/St. Paul market. That means it could be eyeing Supervalu, the Minneapolis-based parent of Cub Foods. Cub has the top share among supermarkets in Minneapolis."

"“It’s a crowded market, so it’s going to be hard to add scale unless you do it through an acquisition,” he says. “The obvious candidate is Supervalu and the Cub chain. And Cub Foods is struggling. It would be a logical acquisition for Kroger.”
KC's View:
Logic, Spock says in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, "is the beginning of wisdom, not the end."

I think that we all have to be a little careful about this kind of "logical" speculation. Kroger clearly is in a somewhat acquisitive mood lately, but there will be the temptation - especially among the analyst/consultant class - to fuel speculation and maybe even client fees by suggesting that Kroger is going to buy everything and anything that may or may not be available. Only a small percentage of these possibilities will be realized, because the folks at Kroger are smarter than most about this stuff.

I got a bunch of emails yesterday asking if I thought Kroger might be interested in buying Fairway, which just filed for bankruptcy. This made me realize that there's an enormous gap between wishful thinking and intelligent speculation - I might like Kroger to buy Fairway because it'd be interesting to see how it would make this market more competitive, but that doesn't mean it should or will happen.