Walmart and Kroger are now a one-two punch for the $1 trillion supermarket industry.
The deal, which is expected to close in the coming weeks, is expected by analysts to boost the grocery industry’s share of total U.S. sales from 12.6% to 17.4% and give Walmart an estimated $7 billion to $8 billion in annual revenue.
That’s enough to give Walmart its biggest ever return on equity.
Walmart is also likely to gain an estimated 3.4 million new grocery jobs, according to the company’s fourth-quarter earnings report.
Wal-Mart, the world’s largest privately held supermarket chain, is in talks with a dozen local grocery stores to create a “store-to-store” network.
The new network would provide customers with a more efficient shopping experience, Kroger CEO Michael Mastroianni said in an interview with Bloomberg.
Kroger’s new network is expected be launched in 2018.
In addition to its new network, Kroer is working on new technology and better ways to deliver products to consumers, Mastroi said.
Walmart will also have access to technology that helps store managers and sales associates improve customer service, he said.