By Lauren Hirsch and Julie Creswell
Source: The New York Times

The grocery giants Albertsons and Kroger are in talks to combine in a deal that would be one of the industry’s largest in years, creating a colossal food retailer aimed at taking on Walmart, four people with knowledge of the plans said.

The deal could be announced as soon as Friday, said the people, who requested anonymity because the talks were confidential.

A merger would combine the two largest grocery chains in the United States, which together generate annual revenue of $209 billion and have more than 5,000 stores across the country. That would put them more in the running against big-box operators like Walmart, Amazon and Costco. Last year, groceries made up $218 billion, or 55 percent, of Walmart’s U.S. sales.

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