Fred Meyer "Spokane Test" - eliminate dedicated electronics, reduce GM, expand liquor/food, require card for sale prices

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Super S
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Re: Fred Meyer "Spokane Test" - eliminate dedicated electronics, reduce GM, expand liquor/food, require card for sale pr

Post by Super S »

babs wrote: July 30th, 2020, 10:28 pm
Well the reality at Fred Meyer is that many of the sale items require you to add the digital coupon to your account to get the sale price. So in essence, they have been requiring a card/phone app for some time to get many of the sale prices.
They have required the app for digital coupons, but nothing was required for sale prices. The requirement to have a card for sale prices is new.

I shouldn't have to jump through all of the hoops to get sale prices. They might as well just rename the store Safeway at this point.

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Re: Fred Meyer "Spokane Test" - eliminate dedicated electronics, reduce GM, expand liquor/food, require card for sale pr

Post by babs »

Super S wrote: July 31st, 2020, 5:46 pm
babs wrote: July 30th, 2020, 10:28 pm
Well the reality at Fred Meyer is that many of the sale items require you to add the digital coupon to your account to get the sale price. So in essence, they have been requiring a card/phone app for some time to get many of the sale prices.
They have required the app for digital coupons, but nothing was required for sale prices. The requirement to have a card for sale prices is new.

I shouldn't have to jump through all of the hoops to get sale prices. They might as well just rename the store Safeway at this point.
Looking at the Fred Meyer ad right now. About half the items in the ad require a digital coupon to get the sale price. Call it what you want but without a card, you will pay more. These aren't just recycled manufacturer's coupons, it also includes Kroger branded items.

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Re: Fred Meyer "Spokane Test" - eliminate dedicated electronics, reduce GM, expand liquor/food, require card for sale pr

Post by storewanderer »

babs wrote: July 31st, 2020, 11:06 pm

Looking at the Fred Meyer ad right now. About half the items in the ad require a digital coupon to get the sale price. Call it what you want but without a card, you will pay more. These aren't just recycled manufacturer's coupons, it also includes Kroger branded items.
I have noticed more and more of this. It used to be the digital coupons provided extra savings on top of the already low sale prices. Now what they do and have been doing for the past few years is the "digital coupon price" is like the old low sale price and then the new "sale price" is somewhere in the middle.

Also recall as recently as about 6-8 years ago Fred Meyer still did a lot of store coupons on groceries in their ad, in a savings book, etc. Those all went away as the digital coupon offering has hit hard and heavy.

The whole thing is very Safeway like. Complicated and clunky. My Smiths app right now has 750+ digital offers. You can only add up to a maximum of 150 offers at a time. These offers are a hassle as they are "one time use" but "use on up to 5 items in a single transaction." I've been trying to get various types of Kroger Preserves (Cherry, Peach, Strawberry) which are 1.79 with a digital coupon last week/this week. Every time I go in, and I've been to 3 different Smiths on different days, the Cherry and Strawberry are out of stock. I kept waiting to purchase since I need to buy them all at the same time to use the digital coupon. Finally today I am tired of screwing around with this and no clue when they will get this stuff back in stock. I purchased the preserves, all 3 of them, elsewhere at a price of 2.49 each.

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Re: Fred Meyer "Spokane Test" - eliminate dedicated electronics, reduce GM, expand liquor/food, require card for sale pr

Post by SamSpade »

Today is the official chainwide roll out of "My Freddy's Rewards," and so now all sale prices are noted as 'with card.'

The print insert shows both the old style purple and orange Fred Meyer Rewards card alongside a new red and white card. There was one interesting thing I didn't know about this program - most of the others are the same marketing slightly repackaged.

They are selling it as:
  • Great Sale Prices with Card.
  • Low prices on your favorites.
  • Price match guarantee.
  • FREE pickup!
Here is the URL for details on the price matching, which applies to non-food departments (home, apparel, electronics).
http://www.fredmeyer.com/pricematch

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Re: Fred Meyer "Spokane Test" - eliminate dedicated electronics, reduce GM, expand liquor/food, require card for sale pr

Post by Super S »

SamSpade wrote: August 19th, 2020, 12:46 pm Today is the official chainwide roll out of "My Freddy's Rewards," and so now all sale prices are noted as 'with card.'

The print insert shows both the old style purple and orange Fred Meyer Rewards card alongside a new red and white card. There was one interesting thing I didn't know about this program - most of the others are the same marketing slightly repackaged.

They are selling it as:
  • Great Sale Prices with Card.
  • Low prices on your favorites.
  • Price match guarantee.
  • FREE pickup!
Here is the URL for details on the price matching, which applies to non-food departments (home, apparel, electronics).
http://www.fredmeyer.com/pricematch
Looks like I am done with Fred Meyer for shopping trips...will be headed to WinCo tonight....

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Re: Fred Meyer "Spokane Test" - eliminate dedicated electronics, reduce GM, expand liquor/food, require card for sale pr

Post by storewanderer »

It doesn't appear the card is required for a price match. I think the price match is a positive change. I am glad to see them doing that. They are going to have some trouble since they exclude food and grocery items I think and it may frustrate some people but this is one of the first things I've seen them to do try and shoot some life into their non food business in a long time.

Requiring the card for sale prices is a dumb move and I understand it brings them in line with the rest of Kroger this is more for Kroger's benefit as it has no customer benefit.

Also taking away the old rewards point program where you got a rewards certificate plus the separate fuel points and now only offering fuel points is another questionable move. Feels like they are taking something away from the customer (the old Rewards Certificate program). They need to restructure their entire "fuel points" program to be like the Albertsons/Safeway program where you can redeem the points for free items, store discounts, or a fuel discount (really like how that program gives these options).

It'll be interesting to see if they figure out a way to sell a loyalty card required for price reductions in Food 4 Less/FoodsCo and RVler.

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Re: Fred Meyer "Spokane Test" - eliminate dedicated electronics, reduce GM, expand liquor/food, require card for sale pr

Post by Super S »

An observation...
Fred Meyer has in the past responded quickly to emails with questions or other concerns. I did send them an email expressing my opinion of the new card requirement. No response whatsoever.

I think we may be seeing a "turning point" of sorts in operations at Fred Meyer. It seems that after many years of letting Fred Meyer more or less do their own thing, Kroger is now implementing "the Kroger way" of running a store at Fred Meyer. This started with Kroger-based store remodels and phasing in the Kroger brand on most private label products, then the experiment with the cards in Spokane, now they are doing things which have the potential to send their customer base elsewhere. Not only the card requirement, but the shrinking of the GM mix, and other recent things like Nike severing ties with Fred Meyer.

I liked the convenience of Fred Meyer near my house, but I do have a Walmart about the same distance away in the other direction, and WinCo not too far down the road. While there are aspects of both stores I don't like, at least they keep prices low in a way where they don't have to resort to multiple gimmicks. It's almost as if Fred Meyer is aiming more toward those who prefer the Safeway approach and ignoring the rest of their customer base with the new card requirement.

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Re: Fred Meyer "Spokane Test" - eliminate dedicated electronics, reduce GM, expand liquor/food, require card for sale pr

Post by storewanderer »

Super S wrote: August 28th, 2020, 8:28 am An observation...
Fred Meyer has in the past responded quickly to emails with questions or other concerns. I did send them an email expressing my opinion of the new card requirement. No response whatsoever.

I think we may be seeing a "turning point" of sorts in operations at Fred Meyer. It seems that after many years of letting Fred Meyer more or less do their own thing, Kroger is now implementing "the Kroger way" of running a store at Fred Meyer. This started with Kroger-based store remodels and phasing in the Kroger brand on most private label products, then the experiment with the cards in Spokane, now they are doing things which have the potential to send their customer base elsewhere. Not only the card requirement, but the shrinking of the GM mix, and other recent things like Nike severing ties with Fred Meyer.

I liked the convenience of Fred Meyer near my house, but I do have a Walmart about the same distance away in the other direction, and WinCo not too far down the road. While there are aspects of both stores I don't like, at least they keep prices low in a way where they don't have to resort to multiple gimmicks. It's almost as if Fred Meyer is aiming more toward those who prefer the Safeway approach and ignoring the rest of their customer base with the new card requirement.
I recently sent an e-mail to Kroger via the website comments with a product issue and it took about 4 days for a turnaround on it.

Fred Meyer has been seriously misguided in the past 2-3 years. The Spokane Test was the start of serious mistakes at Fred Meyer.

I do think the general merchandise side has not been pulling its weight for quite some time, probably the past 10-12 years. Part of why Fred Meyer remained "unique" from the rest of Kroger as long as it did, was due to the general merchandise side. Fast forward to a few years ago as Kroger needs money to put into its online initiative money pit and there is no more subsidizing the Fred Meyer non food operation anymore, and it is decided it is time to run Fred Meyer like a garden variety Kroger division in the midwest. However, the merchandising even on grocery at Fred Meyer is still quite different from, say, a Smiths or a Kroger.

If Kroger wanted to "sell anything, to anyone, anywhere" - they actually needed the Fred Meyer platform and its depth of merchandise to do that. Instead they decided to tear that deeply merchandised general merchandise operation down. Target ships most of its .com orders from stores. I ordered from them a few weeks ago and got boxes from 6 different stores ranging from CA to MN. No reason why Fred Meyer couldn't have done the same. Not sure how profitable the whole thing is and maybe that is part of why they didn't do it.

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Re: Fred Meyer "Spokane Test" - eliminate dedicated electronics, reduce GM, expand liquor/food, require card for sale pr

Post by Super S »

storewanderer wrote: August 28th, 2020, 11:02 pm

I recently sent an e-mail to Kroger via the website comments with a product issue and it took about 4 days for a turnaround on it.

Fred Meyer has been seriously misguided in the past 2-3 years. The Spokane Test was the start of serious mistakes at Fred Meyer.

I do think the general merchandise side has not been pulling its weight for quite some time, probably the past 10-12 years. Part of why Fred Meyer remained "unique" from the rest of Kroger as long as it did, was due to the general merchandise side. Fast forward to a few years ago as Kroger needs money to put into its online initiative money pit and there is no more subsidizing the Fred Meyer non food operation anymore, and it is decided it is time to run Fred Meyer like a garden variety Kroger division in the midwest. However, the merchandising even on grocery at Fred Meyer is still quite different from, say, a Smiths or a Kroger.

If Kroger wanted to "sell anything, to anyone, anywhere" - they actually needed the Fred Meyer platform and its depth of merchandise to do that. Instead they decided to tear that deeply merchandised general merchandise operation down. Target ships most of its .com orders from stores. I ordered from them a few weeks ago and got boxes from 6 different stores ranging from CA to MN. No reason why Fred Meyer couldn't have done the same. Not sure how profitable the whole thing is and maybe that is part of why they didn't do it.
I sent my email back towards the end of July. Here it is a month later and no response.

I used to have a lot more respect for Kroger. I am originally from Ohio and knew Kroger very well long before I even knew Fred Meyer existed. I wasn't too worried when I found out years ago that Kroger was buying the chain. Kroger was known for quality. Prices were a mixed bag though. Although the GM side seems to have slipped considerably since Kroger took over, and they seemed to be running the food operation pretty well, I will agree that things have seemed a bit "off" in the whole store the last 2-3 years. More so on the GM side.

And speaking of that GM side, I had a discussion with a friend about the new card program (who also does not like it) Apparently, they are requiring the card on ALL sale prices storewide now, even on the GM side. I was not aware of this.

Walmart really has the most to gain here as they have the most similar format in this area.

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Re: Fred Meyer "Spokane Test" - eliminate dedicated electronics, reduce GM, expand liquor/food, require card for sale pr

Post by storewanderer »

Super S wrote: August 31st, 2020, 8:27 am

I sent my email back towards the end of July. Here it is a month later and no response.

I used to have a lot more respect for Kroger. I am originally from Ohio and knew Kroger very well long before I even knew Fred Meyer existed. I wasn't too worried when I found out years ago that Kroger was buying the chain. Kroger was known for quality. Prices were a mixed bag though. Although the GM side seems to have slipped considerably since Kroger took over, and they seemed to be running the food operation pretty well, I will agree that things have seemed a bit "off" in the whole store the last 2-3 years. More so on the GM side.

And speaking of that GM side, I had a discussion with a friend about the new card program (who also does not like it) Apparently, they are requiring the card on ALL sale prices storewide now, even on the GM side. I was not aware of this.

Walmart really has the most to gain here as they have the most similar format in this area.
Yes, I notice in the Smiths Marketplace ad for the 5 former Utah Fred Meyers and the Lehi Store that they now require the card for sale pricing too... before there was no card required for non-food sale pricing (only the Smiths food sale pricing).

I would be interested to know how many customers were opting out of using a loyalty card at Fred Meyer. In my observation there seemed to be fairly high loyalty card usage in their stores. Evidently too many were opting out for Kroger's customer purchase data department. I do wonder what they do with all the data...

It does seem like the successful chains that are expanding and opening new stores, do not push a loyalty card or if they have one do not require it for sale pricing... but these stagnant grocers and the drug stores push them hard and demand them for sale pricing.

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