Sprouts CEO Unruffled by Kroger, Albertsons Merger

Sprouts Farmers Market CEO Jack Sinclair’s remarks at a recent event where he was being honored indicate he is unshaken by the proposed merger of two grocery giants. Sinclair, named “Executive of the Year” by the Economic Club of Phoenix,  said he’s not concerned about the possible $24.6 billion merger of Kroger and Albertsons having an impact on his company, and he is skeptical about its ability to help the two chains compete with Walmart, according to reporting from the Phoenix Business Journal

According to Sinclair, Sprouts operates in a wholly different and separate sphere of the grocery industry than Fry’s Food Stores, Albertsons, and Safeway – the companies owned in the Phoenix metropolitan area by Kroger and Albertsons.

“I think it is neutral to us. If they drop the price of Tide or Coca-Cola it is not going to affect us. We don’t sell that anyway,” Sinclair said, according to reporting from the Phoenix Business Journal. “Maybe I’m a little bit naïve, but I don’t think it is going to bother us very much.”

Prior to joining the Phoenix-based natural grocery chain, Sinclair worked for Walmart for several years.

“I’m not sure putting two big things together to make a bigger thing, but still smaller than Walmart, is going to do anything,” Sinclair said at the event. “I don’t know how that unravels itself. There will be some efficiencies the customer gets, but it will still be more expensive than Walmart.”

Sinclair observed that food retail in the United States is a $1.2 trillion industry. Ultimately, Sinclair wants Sprouts to get some $200 billion per year of that larger pie.

“We are only at $6 billion at the moment, I only need a few crumbs at the table,” Sinclair said. “We paddle our own canoe, and we just do our own thing.”