Kroger shakes up own-brand fashion with one fell swoop

Discussion
Joe Mimran and Dip merchandising rendering - Source: Kroger
Jul 11, 2018
George Anderson

Kroger announced on Monday that it has teamed up with Joe Mimran, the designer behind the Club Monaco, Joe Fresh and Pink Tartan labels, to develop a new exclusive apparel brand for the retailer.

The new line, known as Dip, will include men’s, women’s, juniors, kids, and baby collections. The clothing is being introduced this fall at 300 of Kroger’s Marketplace and Fred Meyer supercenter format stores.

“We’ve worked closely with Joe and his team to develop a line of clothing that works for today’s times — easy to buy, easy to wear, and easy to love. Effortless style, every day of the week,” said Robert Clark, Kroger’s senior vice president of merchandising. “Dip will transform our apparel business, further redefining the customer experience through Restock Kroger.”

Kroger’s introduction of Dip marks a new approach to its own-brand fashions. The retailer is phasing out more than a dozen of its apparel private labels and replacing them with the new line.

“The goal is to connect with our customers in innovative ways through ‘Our Brands,’” said Robert Clark, Kroger’s senior vice president of merchandising. “Dip enables Kroger to provide a meaningfully better clothing experience and, ultimately, expand on the products and experiences that you can only get at our stores. Imagine grabbing a few groceries and then being able to dip over to the next aisle and finding your new favorite top or pants.”

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will Kroger succeed with the rehash of its entire private label apparel strategy under designer Joe Mimran? What’s your overall opinion of mixing apparel sales within a supermarket store environment?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"There’s always room for a well-executed apparel brand, and Joe Mimran has certainly got the track record to do it."
"Experimentation and staying lean is usually worth celebrating, but I’m seeing the cost of that spirit at a local level."
"In the U.K., fashion has been a great success for supermarkets — mainly because each grocer has carefully developed its own label or labels."

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11 Comments on "Kroger shakes up own-brand fashion with one fell swoop"


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Max Goldberg
Staff

Kroger is trying to follow in the footsteps of Target by creating exclusive fashion merchandise. This may work at Fred Meyer, which has a long tradition of carrying clothing, but I’d be hesitant to buy clothes at my local Ralphs.

Richard Layman
Guest
10 days 15 hours ago

I’ve only been to a Smith’s Marketplace (and Fred Meyer), not any “marketplace” stores for other banners. Does a Ralph’s Marketplace even exist? Anyway, a Kroger Marketplace is no different than a Fred Meyer, Meijer, Walmart Supercenter or Target. Since I believe mostly that the marketplace format is a way to discourage Walmart and Target from opening stores nearby, it would make sense that Kroger realizes that in the ever-competitive marketplace, they need to do more to make their marketplace format more distinctive and special and a destination.

Anne Howe
BrainTrust

Grocery stores are mostly overstocked with too many SKUs of canned, boxed and frozen foods! Why not eliminate most of that clutter and add fun fashion? Joe Mimran is a proven winner in this type of venture. Kudos to Kroger for being willing to shake it up. The brave retailers will win, the laggards will fade away.

Jeff Sward
Guest
I’ll liken this to Kroger following in the footsteps of Loblaws in Canada. The concept of a grocery store expanding into multiple general merchandise categories is too irresistible to at least give it a try. I spent a fair amount of time working on a similar project. It’s about frequency of store visits. The data when I looked at this several years ago showed the average customer visiting their grocery store about twice a week and the average department store twice every six months. It just made sense to offer that grocery store shopper product that they were going to buy anyway, but buying some basic apparel product at the grocery store was saving them a trip to another store. Baby and toddler apparel product always seemed like a no-brainer to me. Socks and t-shirts. Staple product that didn’t require a lot of thought and probably no fashion quotient. Joe Fresh evolved into a Gap shop beamed into the grocery store, is my way of looking at it. So I say GO FOR IT Kroger!… Read more »
Art Suriano
BrainTrust

I can see the potential for some success, but I doubt it will be anything significant. Kroger should be looking into ways of creating the grocery store of tomorrow with unique and exciting products, technology and unbeatable customer service. As more customers do their shopping online, it’s imperative for grocers to continue to find ways of motivating them to come into the store. I don’t see an apparel line as the answer but creating a grocery store that truly wows the customer with the best food products and categories, the technology that competitors do not have, and outstanding customer service — now that has possibilities.

Neil Saunders
BrainTrust

In the U.K., fashion has been a great success for supermarkets — mainly because each grocer has carefully developed its own label or labels. What’s also true is that most U.K. supermarkets have taken care over merchandising and display.

The same could hold true for Kroger, especially in Fred Meyer. However, given the poor state of many Kroger stores, the degree of success will depend on how much they invest in the retail experience.

Peter Charness
BrainTrust

There’s always room for a well-executed apparel brand, and Joe Mimran has certainly got the track record to do it. A huge percentage of apparel is impulse bought. In a heavy traffic area like a grocery store with the right displays and the right product this can work. In some ways you have to look at the grocery store as it could be, not necessarily as it is today. Retail is a changing, and the fight for share of wallet will be won by innovation.

Joanna Rutter
BrainTrust
10 days 16 hours ago

Bold, interesting, a little awkward. We see some apparel in Whole Foods and plenty of it in Costco. You have to wonder where in the store the clothes will go? (Surely far away from seafood.) Whether there will be changing rooms? Whether the product itself will be good? After the recent news of Kroger shutting down 1,500 jobs here in the Raleigh/Durham area with no guarantee all those jobs will be absorbed into other local Harris Teeters over the coming months, I’m a bit wary of what Kroger leadership is up to. Experimentation and staying lean is usually worth celebrating, but I’m seeing the cost of that spirit at a local level.

Jennifer McDermott
BrainTrust

My first reaction was no! Who wants to buy clothes at Kroger, and from the dubiously-titled “Dip” brand? However, I think they have teamed up with an expert in Joe Mimran so I will be interested to see how this pans out.

Al McClain
Staff

Right. I am really not thrilled with the name. Hopefully, it won’t be on the clothes. Maybe this works for basic items like socks, shirts and tees.

Craig Sundstrom
Guest

Kroger is sort of the alter-ego of Target: a grocer with a small(ish) discount element whereas the latter is a discounter with a smallish grocery component. So that raises the obvious question — does Kroger’s non-food segment suffer from the aura of “afterthought-ness” in the same way that Target’s food segment does? I won’t pretend to know the answer, but simply note that keeping things fresh and constantly reinventing the merchandise is a necessary step … whether or not they do it “the right way,” we’ll have to wait to find out.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"There’s always room for a well-executed apparel brand, and Joe Mimran has certainly got the track record to do it."
"Experimentation and staying lean is usually worth celebrating, but I’m seeing the cost of that spirit at a local level."
"In the U.K., fashion has been a great success for supermarkets — mainly because each grocer has carefully developed its own label or labels."

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