The looming merger between Kroger and Albertsons is causing concerns among the community and the current employees.

My coworkers, everyone is nervous that theyre going to lose their job,” said Safeway employee Jocelyn Cruces.

Cruces said, she and her coworkers are worried about the merger because if the store closes they would all lose their jobs or would have to transfer to Sierra Vista. She and many of her coworkers travel 30 miles each way from Douglas to Bisbee to work.

Cruces and one other Bisbee Safeway employee voiced their fears to Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes Wednesday afternoon in Sierra Vista. Mayes’ stop in Sierra Vista is a part of her tour to rural communities in the state to learn from the people who live in the area about what this mergerand the potential closing of storescould mean for the communities.

Mayes said the merger could have an impact on what the state looks like in the future, by crippling rural communities.

Part of I think fighting for rural communities is making sure that these towns, towns like Sierra Vista, have access to fresh food and grocery stores, she said.

For an hour, the attorney general listened to members from all over Cochise County about what economic and employment impacts the merger could have. Sierra Vista Councilman Mark Rodriguez told Mayes during the discussion that if the Safeway closes, the west side of the city would not have a grocery store and people would need transportation to get to a grocery store.

Mayes said this was the first session that voiced concerns about a closure dividing a town and leaving an area without a grocery store, especially one that is closer to neighboring communities like Huachuca City and Whetstone.

Visiting rural communities is allowing the attorney general’s office to gather information for their investigation into the merger. Mayes said her office isn’t the only attorney general’s office looking into the potential merger because western states are concerned about the impact in smaller communities.

Mayes said her office will announce their decision on whether on not they support the merger by the end of the year.


Grocery chains Kroger and Albertsons announce merger AZs Attorney General may try to block Frys-Safeway merger Union opposes Kroger-Albertsons grocery merger