Kroger "big announcement coming" on branding

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storewanderer
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Re: Kroger "big announcement coming" on branding

Post by storewanderer » December 3rd, 2019, 9:18 pm

Given that they seem to keep marginalizing the GM side of the Fred Meyer format, maybe it no longer needs a specific slogan. Still, I am surprised.

I really wonder where this is going long term.

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Re: Kroger "big announcement coming" on branding

Post by Bagels » December 12th, 2019, 6:12 am

There was an article in one of the Cincinnati business journals not that long ago in which Kroger confirmed that it had intended on re-branding its network of stores to the Kroger banner (obviously, I would assume wouldn't have included F4L, Ruler Foods, Harris Teeter, etc). They thought the re brand was necessary because more Americans are traveling more frequently than ever, they would be more willing to visit familiar stores but don't recognize Kroger's various banners. They thought that the re-brand would generate cost savings within a short time period.

However, they didn't move forward with it because no matter how uniform the stores appear and no matter how careful they executed a name change, focus groups concluded that some people would stop shopping at their local Ralph's (for example) because they don't identify with Kroger. Ultimately, they deemed the move too risky. The article did note that going forward, everything will be marked as Kroger (e.g. products, internal items, etc.) except as necessary (store names, delivery trailers, ads, etc.) I assume that's why, in the past year or so at Ralph's, the butter, eggs, and Van de Kamp products have received Kroger-branded packaging. Only the milk and bottled water bears Ralph's name (and much of the bottled water has Kroger's).

The irony is... Kroger said in the article that its biggest initiative going forward is to add more local products and tastes to its stores!

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Re: Kroger "big announcement coming" on branding

Post by Super S » December 12th, 2019, 9:42 am

Bagels wrote:
December 12th, 2019, 6:12 am
There was an article in one of the Cincinnati business journals not that long ago in which Kroger confirmed that it had intended on re-branding its network of stores to the Kroger banner (obviously, I would assume wouldn't have included F4L, Ruler Foods, Harris Teeter, etc). They thought the re brand was necessary because more Americans are traveling more frequently than ever, they would be more willing to visit familiar stores but don't recognize Kroger's various banners. They thought that the re-brand would generate cost savings within a short time period.

However, they didn't move forward with it because no matter how uniform the stores appear and no matter how careful they executed a name change, focus groups concluded that some people would stop shopping at their local Ralph's (for example) because they don't identify with Kroger. Ultimately, they deemed the move too risky. The article did note that going forward, everything will be marked as Kroger (e.g. products, internal items, etc.) except as necessary (store names, delivery trailers, ads, etc.) I assume that's why, in the past year or so at Ralph's, the butter, eggs, and Van de Kamp products have received Kroger-branded packaging. Only the milk and bottled water bears Ralph's name (and much of the bottled water has Kroger's).

The irony is... Kroger said in the article that its biggest initiative going forward is to add more local products and tastes to its stores!
Kroger just has to look at Macy's to see how well a national rebranding worked out. While there are some locations that do OK, store counts have overall gone down under the Macy's banner. Another example is Rite Aid's acquisition of PayLess Drug. Rite Aid immediately required a loyalty card for all sale items (even before Safeway and other grocery stores) and started doing things their way which alienated a lot of people at first. Stores were closed for a few years, and in a few cases, plans for Rite Aid to build new stores to replace some of the older PayLess stores were cancelled because business fell off after the acquisition. It's only recently that Rite Aid seems to be doing well in the Northwest, but as a company they have struggled. Then look at other brands that have merged: Sears/Kmart, Office Depot/OfficeMax, Safeway/Albertsons, and you find that stores that were hit-or-miss are still that way, and pricing has not gotten any better. Although I do think that a national rebranding could work out better for Kroger as they have gradually phased in the Kroger brand, a few items at a time, into stores such as Fred Meyer so people are at least already familiar with the name. Store designs have become more consistent, but certain elements such as polished concrete do not work everywhere. And Kroger is starting to use more uniform advertising across their banners.

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