Sprouts and Sunflower Market have just announced that they will be merging. According to the e-mail that they sent out to customers today, the combined company, which will eventually operate under the single name Sprouts Farmers Market, will have 142 stores and about 10,000 employees at the time the transaction closes, which is expected to be in mid-Spring. That will make them one of the largest grocery retailers specializing in fresh and natural foods in the region. They also plan to open several additional new stores later in the year.
Here are few of the benefits of this merger that they listed in their e-mail:
• It will bring an influx of interesting new products to your store.
• Prices may get even better, as our improved access to suppliers should allow us to find efficiencies in purchasing and distribution.
• There will be more stores, with more employment opportunities, and more of a tax base for the local economies.
• There will be improvements in operations, as we take the best practices of each company and merge them into one.
Also, here are some additional information that they shared regarding the timing of the transition:
Now, as we learned during our merger with Henry’s/Sun Harvest Farmers Markets last year, these things take time to work out. We are realistic about that. For one thing, until the closing of the merger, Sprouts and Sunflower will remain separate and distinct entities who are competing with each other. Also, once the merger is finalized, changes will be phased in gradually over the rest of 2012. For example, because we have different buying systems and warehouses and inventories, it may take many months before the stores all carry the same products. It may also take some time before you can shop the stores interchangeably by, for example, purchasing items at a Sunflower store and returning them to a Sprouts store. Certainly it will be quite a few months before you see the name change on the outside of any store.
What do you think of this big change?