CINCINNATI — Could Cincinnati-based grocer Kroger consider a merger with retail giant Target?
That’s what a report by Fast Company claims. The website, which cites unnamed sources, reported that Kroger is in talks with Minneapolis-based Target Corp. about a possible merger. Discussions started in the fall, and have continued but nothing has come to fruition yet.
Last year, Target and Kroger’s combined annual revenue added up to $195 billion, according to Forbes. Kroger has declined to comment about the story.
This isn’t the only merger rumor connected to Kroger in recent months. Online retailer Boxed Wholesale reportedly rejected Kroger’s $400 million buyout offer earlier this month. Boxed.com is an U.S.-based online and mobile membership-free wholesale retailer that offers delivery of bulk-sized packages through the Boxed app or the website.
Kroger has also considered teaming up with Overstock.com Inc. in an effort to compete with online retailers. The New York Post reported the Cincinnati-based grocer may be eyeing a deal with Overstock.com, according to sources. Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne said last year that he plans to sell or reorganize the e-commerce business to focus on blockchain technology. Kroger did not comment on the possible deal.
Grocers have been interested in partnering with digital companies after Amazon.com purchased Whole Foods for $13.7 billion last year. Online grocery shopping is making major gains, according to the Food Marketing Institute’s U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends 2017 report. The number of shoppers buying some of their groceries online jumped to 11 percent in the first quarter compared to 5 percent in 2016, according to the report.