Kroger closing/closed 5 Arkansas Stores

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storewanderer
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Kroger closing/closed 5 Arkansas Stores

Post by storewanderer »

More of these little small town stores where they are in some cases the only grocer...

https://www.nwaonline.com/news/2021/jun ... te-stores/

In one case an AWG operator is taking the store however that is a unique case as the AWG operator owns the building and Kroger is the tenant.

Unless these stores are really hopeless I would suspect there are other AWG operators who may take interest.

I am surprised Kroger is not trying to convert these to RVler foods, I guess that ship has already sailed or they have forgotten about RVler.
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Re: Kroger closing/closed 5 Arkansas Stores

Post by wnetmacman »

storewanderer wrote: June 17th, 2021, 10:44 pm More of these little small town stores where they are in some cases the only grocer...

https://www.nwaonline.com/news/2021/jun ... te-stores/

In one case an AWG operator is taking the store however that is a unique case as the AWG operator owns the building and Kroger is the tenant.

Unless these stores are really hopeless I would suspect there are other AWG operators who may take interest.
Kroger has recently been divesting itself of these small town stores that don't fit; they closed several in Illinois as well. AWG is just a supplier; the individual operators have to make choices. I know that two of the stores (Searcy and Morrillton) were literally a stone's throw from Walmart. The store acquired (Brinkley) was a longtime Kroger that was taken over AND was next to a closed Walmart. The two others (England and DeWitt) were in extremely small towns.
I am surprised Kroger is not trying to convert these to RVler foods, I guess that ship has already sailed or they have forgotten about RVler.
The proper name is Ruler Foods (Measure the Savings). These stores are operated by the Indiana-based Pay Less division. Arkansas is a bit far to supply and maintain.
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Re: Kroger closing/closed 5 Arkansas Stores

Post by storewanderer »

Yes it is Ruler though the updated poor looking logo sure looks like RVler. Should have kept the old logo. Perhaps it is the store for RVers. Anyway, it is run by the Louisville Division now. It was previously part of Jay C Division but that isn't really an independent division anymore (it was for over 10 years after Kroger bought it). So Ruler is being run entirely out of Louisville.

But with what Ruler offers, basically any Kroger division could run a Ruler Foods. It is primarily Kroger brand product (there is nothing in a Ruler that isn't in a normal Kroger Store) and box-stocked perishables. Any Kroger distribution center (except probably Fred Meyer) has all of the items Ruler sells. I have been surprised Kroger has not expanded Ruler more to areas where there is not enough population for a full size store. These towns in Arkansas where Kroger is just up and closing stores- there are a number of towns in Indiana where Jay C Foods locations were in a similar position and rather than up and closing they just converted the stores to Ruler Foods.

Ruler is a good hard discount format but backed by the strong host of private label items that Kroger offers. It is missing something that Aldi or Lidl has but it strikes me as having some potential. I think Ruler would work in a lot of very small towns next to Dollar General locations or in neighborhoods of larger cities/suburbs where a conventional store is no longer viable (tougher neighborhoods). If nothing else it would serve to increase volume and buying power for Kroger with a low staffed/short hours/simple to maintain (no fresh departments) operation.
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Re: Kroger closing/closed 5 Arkansas Stores

Post by Bagels »

Just glancing at various photos available online, it appears that Kroger is now using a modified Food4Less interior package within Ruler Foods. It also appears the stores are carrying a lot of branded groceries these days.

It just seems as if these private label only stores struggle. Spartan introduced Valu Land (which was to sell all private label goods) in the late 2000s, and projected it could rapidly grow to hundreds of locations. But most of the original locations quickly closed and they haven’t really added much since.
storewanderer wrote: June 30th, 2021, 6:45 pm Yes it is Ruler though the updated poor looking logo sure looks like RVler. Should have kept the old logo. Perhaps it is the store for RVers. Anyway, it is run by the Louisville Division now. It was previously part of Jay C Division but that isn't really an independent division anymore (it was for over 10 years after Kroger bought it). So Ruler is being run entirely out of Louisville.

But with what Ruler offers, basically any Kroger division could run a Ruler Foods. It is primarily Kroger brand product (there is nothing in a Ruler that isn't in a normal Kroger Store) and box-stocked perishables. Any Kroger distribution center (except probably Fred Meyer) has all of the items Ruler sells. I have been surprised Kroger has not expanded Ruler more to areas where there is not enough population for a full size store. These towns in Arkansas where Kroger is just up and closing stores- there are a number of towns in Indiana where Jay C Foods locations were in a similar position and rather than up and closing they just converted the stores to Ruler Foods.

Ruler is a good hard discount format but backed by the strong host of private label items that Kroger offers. It is missing something that Aldi or Lidl has but it strikes me as having some potential. I think Ruler would work in a lot of very small towns next to Dollar General locations or in neighborhoods of larger cities/suburbs where a conventional store is no longer viable (tougher neighborhoods). If nothing else it would serve to increase volume and buying power for Kroger with a low staffed/short hours/simple to maintain (no fresh departments) operation.
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Re: Kroger closing/closed 5 Arkansas Stores

Post by storewanderer »

I think the problem with these private label only stores is at the end of the day they just don't move much $$$ of merchandise. The prices are too low, value conscious customers are less likely to impulse buy, so you have to be very tight on labor and accept you will have a large number of locations that do a low volume of sales in terms of dollars sold.

The initial Ruler Foods I went into seemed like they worked. They only had a couple employees, relatively limited hours of operation, case style stocking.

Adding additional SKUs and brands to the mix adds complication, takes more time (labor) to merchandise, price changes are more frequent, rotation is needed more often, etc. It looks to me like Kroger tried to make Ruler sell more and in the process messed with the expense structure.

I wonder if a franchise/operator type model would work for Ruler Foods similar to the Loblaw No Frills in Canada.
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Re: Kroger closing/closed 5 Arkansas Stores

Post by retailfanmitchell019 »

storewanderer wrote: July 7th, 2021, 11:34 pm I think the problem with these private label only stores is at the end of the day they just don't move much $$$ of merchandise. The prices are too low, value conscious customers are less likely to impulse buy, so you have to be very tight on labor and accept you will have a large number of locations that do a low volume of sales in terms of dollars sold.

The initial Ruler Foods I went into seemed like they worked. They only had a couple employees, relatively limited hours of operation, case style stocking.

Adding additional SKUs and brands to the mix adds complication, takes more time (labor) to merchandise, price changes are more frequent, rotation is needed more often, etc. It looks to me like Kroger tried to make Ruler sell more and in the process messed with the expense structure.

I wonder if a franchise/operator type model would work for Ruler Foods similar to the Loblaw No Frills in Canada.
Sobeys also franchises their IGA stores, and some mainline Sobeys/Safeway stores.
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