You have already done it by buying VLGEA. Good dividend, high volume stores over a million per week. Will benefit from the Fairway and A&P bankruptcies. A good buy under $25. Now its heading for $30. Hold on but if drops under 25, load up again. Whole Foods is a buy under 30. Kroger under 35. The rest are junk. VLGEA has little downside with a stock market crash. WFM and KR are widely held and vulnerable in a crash, but long term good investments.
Kroger can run some really good $1M week stores. Fred Meyer, a few QFCs, and a few midwest Kroger stores are over $1M per week. Operations are really good. Not as good as Mariano's in most areas but does exceed Mariano's in a few areas. Keep in mind the Mariano's model was not sustainable. Kroger will just have to find a way to be profitable at $700k per week. Yes we are going to miss what we loved most about Mariano's - excellent service and low prices. But we must now accept decent service and fair prices. Kroger's new Main & Vine format is really nice. Not as nice as Whole Foods, but they are 85% there which took guts and sometimes guts is enough.
I think Meijer was doing more stuff than us before they even had one store open. They were even having a semi truck drive circles around 894 all day before they opened. I think now they wished they hadn't come to Wisconsin. Sure Kroger will close a lot of stores but what they keep they will be very competitive. Meijer was hoping we would go BK and be sold to private equity. Buying us was like taking the fat girl to the prom. Kroger will skinny us up and get us looking good.
They announced dropping the Copps banner and changing it to Pick N Save. Look for a drop in prices of about 4%. Close or sell 20-40 stores. Upgrade the stores they hope the business from the closed stores will migrate back to. Maybe some can be downsized and converted to Lucky's. Toured the Main and Vine store in Gig Harbor last Saturday. Nice store, it was a Whole Foods lite. Looked like a conventional store with Whole Foods type products. With Meijer open stores now every few week, this will probably accelerate store closings. Remember, the price they paid was already discounted to pay for these closings, so its not a hit on the bottom line.