Swirling Kroger, Target merger rumors prompt Friday morning stock spike

Swirling Kroger, Target merger rumors prompt Friday morning stock spike

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Those of you who wake up every morning and Google "Kroger stock" and "Target stock" just to get a feel for grocery world goings-on each day may have noticed a pre-market surge for both companies Friday.

Now, of course, it's quite possible nobody does that oddly specific routine each day, but here's what you would have seen:

So, why the spike? Well, it may have had something to do with a Friday morning report from Fast Company that the two were mulling a merger "as grocery wars rage."

CNBC, however, has reported that there are no talks about a merger, but meetings have taken place regarding an Internet-based delivery service:

The two have had meetings over a Shipt partnership, CNBC's source said.

That CNBC report, as well as a report from Forbes, touched on the recent Amazon/Whole Foods merger as well as a perceived pressure on e-commerce. Forbes reported that regardless of a merger, the Amazon threat is clear:

According to data from FMI and Nielsen, within seven years 70% of consumers will shop for groceries online (and, in the process, spend $100 billion per year).

Kroger has already launched a Clicklist pickup service.

Our media partners at the Cincinnati Enquirer report that Kroger does have home delivery in some markets. But while Shipt could be a key asset to drawing Kroger's interest, the Enquirer reports, it has been a "notoriously picky" company with mergers and acquisitions:

Kroger looks for alliances with well-run company's that give it new abilities: Kroger's 2015 takeover of Wisconsin's Roundy's gave it an appealing urban supermarket format: Mariano's; Kroger's 2004 takeover of North Carolina's Harris Teeter gave it 'Click and Collect,' which Kroger expanded into ClickList across the country...

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