Kroger may have an Ace (Hardware) up its sleeve
Is Ace Hardware’s friendly service coming to a Kroger near you?
According to a report by TheStreet, the two companies are in the early stages of discussing adding Ace store-within-a-store concepts to Kroger locations. Kroger, which is the largest operator of supermarkets in the U.S., has about 2,800 stores across the country.
Kroger, which saw its stock take a hit last year when Amazon.com acquired Whole Foods Market, has been focused on building its ClickList online business, which includes in-store pickup as well as delivery using third-party vendors such as Instacart and Uber. The grocer managed a 1.1 increase in same-store sales during the third quarter as more of its shoppers placed their orders online.
Ace, TheStreet reports, sees store-within-a-store as a path to growth for members of the retail cooperative. The company has offered up to $150,000 for up to 5,000-square-feet of space within grocery and paint stores. Ace has shops set up inside 400 Benjamin Moore Express stores around the U.S.
The Ace brand is very well respected by consumers. A survey of 7,800 consumers last year by Market Force Information found Ace was the favorite place for them to shop for home improvement projects. Ace got the highest marks from consumers for easy to shop stores, customer service and associate knowledge, and fast checkouts.
Bringing Ace inside its stores would certainly not be Kroger’s first break from its traditional grocery roots. The retailer is rolling out its own “Our Brands” private label clothing this year. The initial rollout will be in 300 Fred Meyer and Kroger Marketplace supercenter locations. The company has not provided details on plans for future expansion should the initial launch go well.
- You May Soon Be Able to Buy a Power Drill at Kroger – TheStreet
- Why do so many people love shopping at Ace Hardware? – RetailWire
- Can Kroger make a name for itself in fashion? – RetailWire
- Is Kroger in denial about the magnitude of its challenges? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think Ace stores inside of Kroger would work? How might it affect store traffic and demographic draw? Are there other store-within-a-store concepts that you think Kroger should pursue?