Reader’s Rant: ‘As a Consumer, I’m Against the Proposed Merger of Ralphs and Vons.’

by on November 22, 2022 · 2 comments

in Ocean Beach, San Diego

By Deborah Porter

I haven’t seen much chatter about the proposed merger of Ralphs and Vons, but I think it will not benefit any of us and in fact could cause higher prices, fewer stores, less variety and fewer choices for the consumers of San Diego. I have posted some comments on Nextdoor and predictably have gotten informative responses as well as people blaming kids from the high schools of stealing food causing higher prices.

I’m not trying to food fight inflation (useless to try), or denigrate the large grocery options here, it is just that I think that for the average consumer — who may not have a Walmart nearby (we don’t), or cannot go to Costco for their groceries, or prefer to not pay the higher prices at Jensens, Lazy Acres, Target etc. — should rally against this merger. The average consumer cannot afford the higher cost premium grocery stores, and Costco may not make sense for small families.

I suggest that Rag readers contact their government representatives and ask them to contact the FTC to ask them to prohibit the merger of Ralphs and Vons grocery stores.

We who live in San Diego have only Safeway (Von’s) and Ralph’s for general grocery service, and their merger would create a HUGE monopoly here with guaranteed higher prices for everyone. In addition, as happened when Vons and Safeway merged, we are likely to see a decrease in the number of brick and mortar local stores after the merger.

Von’s (Safeway)  is especially predatory here — its prices are unconscionable; while Ralph’s tries to hold the line to being reasonable. (An aside, Ralph’s , as a community service, accepts plastic grocery bags for recycling. Whereas, Von’s will not accept recyclable plastic bags, and could care less about community issues, only their bottom line.)

We do have a small number (5) of EXTREMELY high priced and demographically high class grocery vendors here : Whole Foods, Gelsons, Jensens, Bristol Farms, and Lazy Acres. They are in the richer neighborhoods (of course) and are are financially and geographically untenable for the ordinary shoppers. (e.g. I looked for Pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving… Gelson’s are $45, Ralph’s are about $14.00).

I believe we should fight to NOT let the merger go through. It will be very harmful for our San Diego citizens. It serves no good purpose in San Diego, only to strengthen the monopoly of Von’s/Ralph’s, and fatten their pockets. As it is we have few options for grocery shopping!! (PS Target has started a grocery store in Midway here and their prices for fresh produce are even higher than the average grocery store prices.)

Deborah Porter is a resident of Point Loma.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Eric L DuVall November 22, 2022 at 12:01 pm

Suggest you patronize Grossout (Grocery Outlet) and/or Smart & Final. I find it hard to believe that the move to Liberty Station was a winner for Von’s, the little Ralphs, formerly Von’s, formerly DeFalcos, on Rosecrans is a great location. They must be regretting that move.


Roy Mitchell November 22, 2022 at 2:19 pm

Olive tree market


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