Over this eight year period, Burkle and a senior management team operated these various supermarket chains (acquisition-by-acquisition) as an integrated company of sorts, but yet each kept it's own identity, format and positioning in its respective markets. From 1995-1997, Burkle and his team integrated the desperate operations, slashed costs, closed poorly-performing stores, built some new stores, remodeled a number of others, and improved sales and profits as a result.
In 1997, Burkle merged Ralph's/Food-4-Less with Oregon-based Fred Meyer, Inc., creating the number two food retailing company in the Western U.S. after Safeway Stores, Inc. The combined company was named Fred Meyer, Inc.
Then the selling began. In 1998 Burkle broke the Dominick's chain off from Fred Meyer, Inc. and sold it to Safeway Stores, Inc. for $1.85 billion. Yucaipa paid just $750 million for the chain less than three years earlier. Then the BIG DEAL came: Kroger Co. agreed to buy Fred Meyer, Inc. for $8 billion. You can do the math; add up what Burkle paid for all the chains above, then subtract that from $9.85 billion, the combined sale price he fetched for Fred Meyer and Dominicks, and as you can see, he made a tidy profit.