Kroger Pumps up Gasoline, Natural Food and GM Sales

Jul 01, 2002

More Kroger shoppers will be able to buy gasoline at the company’s supermarkets by year’s end, according to Joseph Pichler, chairman of Kroger. The chain currently operates 283 gas stations at supermarkets, more than double the 114 it had this time last year. Gas pumps will be added to the parking lots of about 350 Kroger stores nationwide by year’s end, reports the Cincinnati Post.

The chain will be opening natural food departments in about 120 of its stores nationwide, Mr. Pichler says. The departments typically offer about 2,000 items and are sometimes tied to Kroger pharmacies to market a wellness theme.

Also, the company is focusing on general merchandise and seasonal items, such as patio swings, 10,000 of which sold at its supermarkets last year. “As it turns out, that was only the beginning,” he says. “So far this summer, we have sold nearly 28,000 of those swings, plus 15,000 umbrellas,” he reports.

Moderator Comment: Should the grocery industry adopt
a strategy of targeting product categories that supermarket shoppers are currently
purchasing in other channels?

Gasoline, natural foods, and general merchandise: It
would appear that grocery stores have decided that turnabout is fair play. After
years of having sales siphoned off by various retail competitors from mass,
clubs, drug, c-stores, category killers, etc., grocery operators are selectively
targeting categories with high growth/traffic building potential that consumers
normally purchase in other trade channels. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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