Shares of U.S. grocery chains spoiled on the shelf Thursday and into Friday’s open after Kroger announced that it was raising wages and cutting prices. The declines were further compounded after Amazon announced its intention to buy cheese and guacamole magnate Whole Foods Market. The acquisition represents a potential sea change to the grocery industry, whose members have feared they would suffer the same fate as their durable goods retail peers.
Kroger shares were down 19% in Thursday’s trading and declined another 15% before Friday’s open. According to its most recent SEC filing, the company’s 401(k) plan had nearly 35% of its plan invested in company stock. Costco carried over its “buy-in-bulk” business model to its retirement plan and holds slightly less than 38% of its plan assets in Costco stock.