Stop & Shop and King Kullen have terminated their merger agreement through which the Quincy, Mass.-based Stop & Shop, an Ahold Delhaize USA Company, was to acquire King Kullen of Bethpage, N.Y. The mutual decision not to proceed with the acquisition is reportedly due to unforeseen changes in the marketplace related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The initial merger agreement was signed in December 2018.
“Both companies have put forth an incredible amount of effort to work through unanticipated challenges that have arisen, and we regret that we’re not able to move forward,” said Gordon Reid, president of Stop & Shop, in a statement. “King Kullen has a strong legacy on the Island, and we wish them continued success. Stop & Shop remains committed to the Long Island community, to serving our customers in the market well, and to investing in our associates and our stores in Nassau and Suffolk Counties.”
“We look forward to continuing to focus on what we do best—serving our great customers across Long Island and supporting our hard-working store associates,” stated Brian Cullen, co-president of King Kullen in a release. “We are enthusiastic about the future and well-positioned to serve Nassau and Suffolk Counties for many years to come. In short, we are here for the long term.”
For now—America’s first supermarket (as recognized by the Smithsonian Institution)—King Kullen will continue as a family-owned and unionized business that operates 29 supermarkets and five Wild by Nature stores on Long island.