Cincinnati based supermarket chain Kroger’s has announced that they will acquire Milwaukee based Roundy’s for $800 million. Roundy’s is the parent company of the Mariano’s chain that recently entered the Chicago area as well as several chains in Wisconsin. I grew up in an area that is dominated by Kroger’s, I like them but they’ve tried to expand in to the Midwest in he past and it didn’t turn out very well. Mariano’s took over many of the locations vacated when the once preeminent regional grocery chain Dominick’s was shuttered 14 years after being acquired (and mismanaged) by California based Safeway.
I know nothing about the Kroger business plan. But here in SE Michigan the company seems to be hitting on all cylinders. One of the recent initiatives they launched was to make each of their markets a friendlier place to shop. My thinking is local management has pulled this off with aplomb.
There are four Kroger markets within a one mile circumference of where I live. Each one has a common and solid grocery stock list. But with specialty product, it seems each tries mightily to cater to the “demographics” of its “typical” shopper. (For instance, one Kroger shut down it’s Service Meat Counter and increased it’s offerings of fresh–and fresh from frozen fish at this location).
So, bottom line as I’ve experienced it recently, the Kroger regional management team where I live has been creatively aggressive in expanding its sales, but also sensitive to the customer throughout the shopping experience.
You may find yourself pleased, Coogles, if you retry Kroger.