Could Kroger be preparing for a Florida move-in?

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storewanderer
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Re: Could Kroger be preparing for a Florida move-in?

Post by storewanderer »

veteran+ wrote: February 1st, 2021, 4:04 pm I agree!

The Kroger of today does not have a chance in Florida.

Even if they bought W/D they would mess it up worse than W/D.

I wonder what that mention of AMOCO is?

Besides Kroger's incompetent top brass, they have also become blind and deaf to any customer issues. They are not interested in ANY customer feedback. I am told by Store Managers that corporate IGNORES them on everything customer related. This has resulted in Store Managers not even bothering to return customer calls regarding issues at the store.

Meanwhile at Albertsons/Vons/Pavilions, corporate customer service reps are professional, responsive and helpful. Their Store Managers still call customers to mitigate problems and requests.

Having worked for Ralphs and King Soopers.............I do not recognize this company anymore.
Yeah Kroger pretty much has gone to a complete corporate knows best mentality and at this point the management is just there to follow orders. When orders do not work it seems like the only path forward is to wait and hope corporate comes down with some new order later that fixes the problem. But communication of ideas seems to have really stopped and that is a real shame because that is how Kroger got so, so good from the mid 00's was when they started to communicate ideas across the divisions. I think there is time for Kroger to decentralize some fresh product merchandising, some fresh product buying, and some marketing again and get back to how they were where the centralized thing worked great for fast moving center store and certain marketing, but the longer this goes under the current centralization model which is not having good results relative to competitors, the harder it will be to decentralize again and get the local division talent back in place.

I think the Amoco is a fuel rewards location where you can redeem Kroger or HT fuel rewards so not something Kroger operates.

Albertsons took the past year's windfall in sales and seems to have used it to invest money back into staffing and operations... it got them some serious positive momentum and they seem to want to continue that momentum. There is a difference in attitude across that operation- management must have gotten great bonuses in 2020 because the attitude is much different in a positive way than a year ago.

Kroger... I cannot believe what has happened there. Only positive is this week my app only had about 340 "digital coupons" on it. That is much better than the prior week that had 900+ offers and I just sort of gave up even looking not long after I logged in. But then when I went into Smiths this week, they were out of stock on 80% of the items I wanted to buy. I went to a different Smiths, and the same thing, out of stock, on the same items. Safeway was in stock on 100% of their sale items I shopped for. I already primarily just buy ad items at Smiths but this rate of out of stocks continuing is going to make it so I don't even look at their ad. I just have too many other choices I go to often to waste time with this- Raleys, WinCo, Wal Mart, Trader Joe's, Sprouts, Scolaris, Smart Foodservice, Safeway, Save Mart... or other ones I rarely shop Smart & Final, Marketon, Whole Foods, Grocery Outlet... Smiths is about to land in the rarely shopped bucket due to that awful app and the out of stocks/operational failures. Usually stores end up there due to being inconvenient or just not one I am real thrilled with.
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Re: Could Kroger be preparing for a Florida move-in?

Post by pseudo3d »

Kroger definitely isn't looking open in Florida anytime soon. If they really wanted to, they would've, as storewanderer said, take over Lucky's Market (and based on some division maps, looks like they came pretty close to making it a full division). But they didn't, and probably were also spooked when Albertsons gave up the last of their claims in Florida.

Hard to believe that it was only six years when they were considering opening stores in Hawaii.
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Re: Could Kroger be preparing for a Florida move-in?

Post by storewanderer »

pseudo3d wrote: February 1st, 2021, 9:07 pm Kroger definitely isn't looking open in Florida anytime soon. If they really wanted to, they would've, as storewanderer said, take over Lucky's Market (and based on some division maps, looks like they came pretty close to making it a full division). But they didn't, and probably were also spooked when Albertsons gave up the last of their claims in Florida.

Hard to believe that it was only six years when they were considering opening stores in Hawaii.
Lucky's also had some kind of small distribution operation in FL. I am really surprised Kroger did not take that FL Lucky's division and attempt to operate it- they could have split that off from the rest of Lucky's had they wanted to as FL was where there was some penetration of Lucky's vs. the other odd two or three stores per state model Lucky's was using as they expanded all over the US. Harris Teeter has higher quality fresh items than the rest of Kroger, they could have used that supply chain. Clearly a missed opportunity not just for Kroger but also for the folks in Florida who would benefit from the competition of more choices.

Safeway was set up to fail in Florida. Logistically- it made no sense to supply those from the PA or DC or wherever it was. They were being very aggressive on price/promotion too especially on perishables (far moreso than they were under the Albertsons banner which was limping along medium-low volume). Can only imagine the cost to supply those stores. Probably was one of those scenarios where the more they sold the more money they lost operating them. But then the more they could justify asking Publix for when they sold the stores given they built volumes on hot ads, no club card required, and constant $10 off $50 coupons- they could have always built a few new stores too to add more pressure which was rumored but never happened.
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Re: Could Kroger be preparing for a Florida move-in?

Post by buckguy »

Interesting thread, but some things are missing. Kroger has been in Florida before---they had SuperX drug stores run as backdoor supers (large food selection) which they sold along with the rest of SuperX Hooks. They also opened some short lived Family Centers in the mid-80s. There's already been a discussion of their fulfillment center just outside the DC-Baltimore area as a backdoor entry and that seems like the case in Florida. The problem for Florida is that they don't really have anything to offer the marketplace here. Buying W/D as has been mentioned repeatedly would be just buying trouble. Florida is a little anachronistic in that it has grown dramatically and once successfully drew chains from elsewhere, but even as the growth continues the marketplace has contracted rapidly. WM sucked up the oxygen that once belonged to WD and others, but the contraction began before their entry.

Publix tangent---I would reinforce that they are selective about what they buy. They entered Atlanta pretty organically, but also bought quite a few A&Ps once they were established, yet they tore down some of them and then rebuilt them on the same footprint (30K-something sf). The store on Ponce near Moreland and one on the edge of Buckhead at the Cobb County line is another.
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Re: Could Kroger be preparing for a Florida move-in?

Post by pseudo3d »

storewanderer wrote: February 1st, 2021, 11:35 pm
Safeway was set up to fail in Florida. Logistically- it made no sense to supply those from the PA or DC or wherever it was. They were being very aggressive on price/promotion too especially on perishables (far moreso than they were under the Albertsons banner which was limping along medium-low volume). Can only imagine the cost to supply those stores. Probably was one of those scenarios where the more they sold the more money they lost operating them. But then the more they could justify asking Publix for when they sold the stores given they built volumes on hot ads, no club card required, and constant $10 off $50 coupons- they could have always built a few new stores too to add more pressure which was rumored but never happened.
Somewhere in the Albertsons Florida Blog, I commented that if they were going to go somewhere, they would make a move within a year like a third-party supplier or an announcement for another store (and at the time, they still held the lease to Port St. Lucie). But that never happened, and it was only a matter of time before they sold out. Oh well.
buckguy wrote: February 2nd, 2021, 6:07 am Interesting thread, but some things are missing. Kroger has been in Florida before---they had SuperX drug stores run as backdoor supers (large food selection) which they sold along with the rest of SuperX Hooks. They also opened some short lived Family Centers in the mid-80s. There's already been a discussion of their fulfillment center just outside the DC-Baltimore area as a backdoor entry and that seems like the case in Florida. The problem for Florida is that they don't really have anything to offer the marketplace here. Buying W/D as has been mentioned repeatedly would be just buying trouble. Florida is a little anachronistic in that it has grown dramatically and once successfully drew chains from elsewhere, but even as the growth continues the marketplace has contracted rapidly. WM sucked up the oxygen that once belonged to WD and others, but the contraction began before their entry.
Publix is interesting that like H-E-B, there's a cult following that makes it harder to knock it down a few pegs. It's not like ShopRite in the Northeast which has a huge market share but could be destroyed with a better competitor. Kroger doesn't really have that, and given how much they're now neck-and-neck in Atlanta, a market that Kroger had a 40+ year head start on, they probably wouldn't fare too well in Florida at this rate.
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Re: Could Kroger be preparing for a Florida move-in?

Post by buckguy »

Kroger got lucky in Atlanta. They were in sad shape in the 70s, much like their most northern markets, from what I understand. Superstores helped them survive in the short run but it was mostly the self-destruction of Colonial, the usual problems of A&P and the sale of Food Giant that propelled them after that. Bruno's entered the market but had internal problems--Ingles bought their stores but have slowly receded from the area--they're nowhere in the well-off intown areas or West/NW suburban areas. W/D was never a big factor---a real mixed bag of locations. Harris-Teeter self-destructed after a strong start, with high prices. Kroger muddled through while everyone else fell apart and/or left. The competition they did have really didn't offer anything exceptional in the way of fresh foods or perishables, so Kroger mediocrity did quite well. They had a commanding lead in the 90s and actually have done well despite the steady rise of Publix---they've been neck and neck for years, with Kroger over taking them during the great recession. Trader Joe's came relatively late as did Whole Foods and neither is the factor they might be expected to be. The one thing you can say about Kroger in Atlanta is that they invested regularly in their stores, but so does Publix.

Even with the continuing saga of W/D, there's really no easy entry for Kroger in Florida. As for how they have done well, it's not just Atlanta----they often thrived in their traditional areas because of the stumbles of others---Colonial again in Cincinnati, Big Bear in Columbus, Food Town in Toledo, National Tea and later Marsh in Indy. HG Hill's withdrawal from retail and the failure of various Fleming ventures enabled them to do very well in Nashville.
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Re: Could Kroger be preparing for a Florida move-in?

Post by storewanderer »

pseudo3d wrote: February 2nd, 2021, 7:35 am Publix is interesting that like H-E-B, there's a cult following that makes it harder to knock it down a few pegs. It's not like ShopRite in the Northeast which has a huge market share but could be destroyed with a better competitor. Kroger doesn't really have that, and given how much they're now neck-and-neck in Atlanta, a market that Kroger had a 40+ year head start on, they probably wouldn't fare too well in Florida at this rate.
Publix is very different from HEB or Shop Rite. HEB and Shop Rite are volume operators. They pile it high and sell it in large volume; they have large fresh departments. Publix runs smaller lower volume stores than those two by far. Publix does not "pile anything high" like HEB or Shop Rite. Publix does not have large vast fresh departments or large busy service counters- they have lightly stocked fresh departments (this is to promote freshness but also masks that the stores are not exactly doing high volumes; this also makes it easier to quickly do visual quality checks; if something looks off it will stand out since there isn't much out on the displays), small almost boutique like service counters, and a generally calm shopping atmosphere.

At this point in Florida the biggest challenge any new entrant has, is how many Publix Stores, will the customers have to drive by to get to the new entrant's stores? Even if someone got 100 stores up and running in FL, most consumers would have to drive by multiple Publix Stores in order to get to one of that new entrant's 100 new stores. And Publix does a good enough job taking care of its customers that short of folks who just want some variety, that new entrant is going to have to have some very compelling offering to convince the customer to drive past 3-4 Publix Stores to get to their store. So I see no entry to Florida for Kroger for physical stores. We will see what they do with the Ocado center once it is up and running and how much volume it does. They had a shot to get physical stores with the niche Lucky's Stores but didn't bite. It may have been a nice idea. They didn't take the shot (perhaps wisely). Publix also has very short operating hours but all departments are open when the store is open. So many in FL close at 9 PM and have for years. In newer markets where they have actual competition I've seen them Open 24 Hours or until Midnight (not sure how they handled that all departments open thing overnight)... but in Florida they don't have to do that anymore.
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Re: Could Kroger be preparing for a Florida move-in?

Post by arizonaguy »

buckguy wrote: February 2nd, 2021, 6:05 pm Kroger got lucky in Atlanta. They were in sad shape in the 70s, much like their most northern markets, from what I understand. Superstores helped them survive in the short run but it was mostly the self-destruction of Colonial, the usual problems of A&P and the sale of Food Giant that propelled them after that. Bruno's entered the market but had internal problems--Ingles bought their stores but have slowly receded from the area--they're nowhere in the well-off intown areas or West/NW suburban areas. W/D was never a big factor---a real mixed bag of locations. Harris-Teeter self-destructed after a strong start, with high prices. Kroger muddled through while everyone else fell apart and/or left. The competition they did have really didn't offer anything exceptional in the way of fresh foods or perishables, so Kroger mediocrity did quite well. They had a commanding lead in the 90s and actually have done well despite the steady rise of Publix---they've been neck and neck for years, with Kroger over taking them during the great recession. Trader Joe's came relatively late as did Whole Foods and neither is the factor they might be expected to be. The one thing you can say about Kroger in Atlanta is that they invested regularly in their stores, but so does Publix.

Even with the continuing saga of W/D, there's really no easy entry for Kroger in Florida. As for how they have done well, it's not just Atlanta----they often thrived in their traditional areas because of the stumbles of others---Colonial again in Cincinnati, Big Bear in Columbus, Food Town in Toledo, National Tea and later Marsh in Indy. HG Hill's withdrawal from retail and the failure of various Fleming ventures enabled them to do very well in Nashville.
Not to go off topic but this is why Kroger is still around in Michigan. 20 years ago Farmer Jack was the #1 grocer in Metro Detroit and by far A&P's strongest division. Kroger even had considered exiting the state in the 1990s.

Farmer Jack started to fall apart around 2001 and became absorbed in A&P's overall financial struggles (plus being separated by several hundred miles from A&P's core store base) and Kroger began to pick up the pieces of the crumbling Farmer Jack during the 2000s.
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Re: Could Kroger be preparing for a Florida move-in?

Post by Romr123 »

Exactly right...remember that Kroger is only in about 1/3 of the geography of the state of Michigan (Jackson/Lansing and east to encompass Flint-Saginaw-Bay City-Midland over to suburban Detroit---2/3 of the population, granted). They completely turn their back on the city of Detroit (Meijer has 2 stores and is building a third in the city of 600k people), where Farmer Jack had a couple of reasonably sized and furnished stores).
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Re: Could Kroger be preparing for a Florida move-in?

Post by jamcool »

Didn’t Farmer Jack buy the Safeway stores in Utah in the 80s? That didn’t work out well
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