I was once informed by a U.S. Navy Admiral that “aircraft carriers do not turn on a dime”. Success does leave clues and building on success is what Kroger is planning. All food retailers goal is to continue growing profitably. When consumer food consumption patterns evolve, retailers follow. Some food industries sectors are bit slower than others the grocery sector for one the restaurant sector is another. Kroger is now leveraging its internal supply chain advantages, marketing know-how and deep analytical expertize to shift from grocery store and super-size food retailer into a spoke-N-hub end to end food retailer.
Michael Schlotman Kroger Company’s Chief Financial Officer recently stated that Kroger plans to open more convenience stores. To date all Kroger convenience stores are located in the proximity of its grocery stores. Kroger will be focusing on consumer’s number one goal when food shopping speed of service with the new c-store outlets. In addition the focus will be on fresh food, with fresh presentations; including an expanded deli area for ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat food options aka grocerant options.
While Kroger is experimenting with different formats Schlotman says that it is too early in the process to call it a full scale test. Kroger is aware that Wawa a chain of regional convenience stores is the fourth largest food retailer in the Delaware Valley. The success that Wawa and Sheetz have found in the convenience store sector focusing on fresh food rather than roller grill options has clearly placed the spotlight smaller footprint food outlet options aka grocerant niche.
Kroger’s national footprint could benefit greatly from such a move particularly on the West Coast where Kroger’s large store format Fred Meyer could be complemented with additional outlets. Importantly there is a lack of corporate owned convenience stores on the West Coast and very few if any with the consumer focus and quality attributes of c-store industry leaders Wawa or Sheetz.
Since 1991 retail food consultancy Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche for more on Foodservice Solutions® Bing or Google Grocerants or visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant, twitter.com/grocerant Email: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us