Kroger plans to boost sales at existi...

Kroger plans to boost sales at existing stores | The Columbus Dispatch

There are 34 comments on the Columbus Dispatch story from Jun 23, 2011, titled Kroger plans to boost sales at existing stores | The Columbus Dispatch. In it, Columbus Dispatch reports that:

Kroger Co.'s CEO says the nation's largest grocery store operator is more focused on increasing sales from its existing base than in entering new markets or buying out competitors.

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iEnzyte Bob Pd Cust

Chicago, IL

#22 Jun 23, 2011
Krogo wrote:
<quoted text>Really! When did you become Jewish?
Don't worry, I still HATE them because they ban the Salvation Army bell ringers. I only use them for convenience purchases when I'm too lazy to drive down to Meijer,$4 prescriptions and Giant Eagle Seltzer Water.

In fact, I shop them very infrequently, that's why it amazes me how quickly you can earn 40 cent discounts. Kroger's program sucks.
iEnzyte Bob Pd Cust

Chicago, IL

#23 Jun 23, 2011
Stick Fork Done wrote:
I was a loyal paying customer to a certain fuel rewards program. Not too long ago I obtained a Honda Civic but was disappointed in the gas mileage. The previous owner asked me how much I was getting and I told her 20 mpg. She asked me where I purchased my gasoline, and told me not to do it anymore. Cheaper gasoline via discounts = cheaper quality. Did I really think the store was giving away premium gasoline when you could fill up a tank with a buck off per gallon? Got down to empty, filled tank at different location not associated with any discount program. At the 6 gallon mark, I am at 182 miles. Much better!
You're hallucinating. Kroger gets most of their gas from BP (at least according to someone I know in the Cincinnati-Dayton KMA). And Marathon sells 2/3 of its products wholesale (to non-Marathon or Speedway branded stations). If you drive over to Fisher Rd. where all the gas terminals are, you wll see all kinds of trucks from all kinds of companies over there at the various terminals. You would be surprised how many of Marathon/Speedway's competitors buy their gas from Marathon. In fact, if I remember correctly I saw Giant Eagle's trucks parked at the former Shell terminal. Gas is also trucked in from Cincinnati for UDF/Mobil and for certain stations when the price at Cincinnati terminals is lower than the Columbus terminals.

Shell caused a marketing sensation in the 1960's by touting the additional mileage a car gets from Shell gasoline with platformate. Various commercials were show showing how much more mileage Shell gasoline with platformate gets when compared to gasoline without platformate.

The commercial was technically true. You do get better mileage with platformate. What Shell didn't tell people, however, was that ALL gasolines included platformate as an ingredient.

Gasoline is mostly the same.
really

Westerville, OH

#24 Jun 23, 2011
So that is why they're closing the store at SR 161 and Cleveland Ave?
omg what

Lancaster, OH

#25 Jun 23, 2011
as if they couldn't raise their priced enough already ???

when I compare prices between Kroger and Meijer / Walmart, I am always amazed at Kroger's markup. It's almost like they're driving their customers away OR assuming people don't know how to find other stores.

I only wish Meijer and Walmart would open central city stores like the Target at Lennox or Lowes at 71 and Hudson. Considering the volume of high income households in Columbus's historic hoods / downtown / first tier suburbs (Bexley, Clintonville, Grandview) and the 50K+ students within miles of 43201, there exists a HUGE untapped market in this town for big box central locations.
omg what

Lancaster, OH

#26 Jun 23, 2011
really wrote:
So that is why they're closing the store at SR 161 and Cleveland Ave?
With the exception of immigrant owned/operated stores (which I think are awesome for Columbus), dollar stores, and strip clubs... Practically every major big brand is closing at 161 and Cleveland (or anywhere along the 161 / Morse strip between 71 and EAston/270).

Menards was an exception. But I'm pretty sure they purposely occupy lower than average rent locations and/or just had no idea that middle to upper middle class Columbus shoppers avoid Morse and 161 [between 71 and Easton] like the plague.
omg what

Lancaster, OH

#27 Jun 23, 2011
iEnzyte Bob Pd Cust wrote:
<quoted text>

Shell caused a marketing sensation in the 1960's by touting the additional mileage a car gets from Shell gasoline with platformate. Various commercials were show showing how much more mileage Shell gasoline with platformate gets when compared to gasoline without platformate.

The commercial was technically true. You do get better mileage with platformate. What Shell didn't tell people, however, was that ALL gasolines included platformate as an ingredient.
Gasoline is mostly the same.
Corinthian Leather !!!
Tim

Delaware, OH

#28 Jun 23, 2011
Rexx Karz wrote:
The problem with Eagle is that their gas has ethanol in it. Neither of my cars can handle ethanol. So their gas stinks. Kroger's recent changes make their program LOUSY...
Thats YOUR problem!
omg what

Lancaster, OH

#29 Jun 23, 2011
hog2561 wrote:
Giant Eagle is high. I am surprised they are still in business here. I don't care how much they have in gas perks. their high prices seem to offset it.
AGREED- Kroger might seem pricey here and there, and you pretty much have to shop there regularly to know Kroger's "sale scams" and whether or not something is a true bargain (or just a good price).

But Giant Eagle = GIANT RIPOFF and I'm amazed by how many people tout their fuel perks program when they're paying so much more for groceries to begin with.

A general rule with all freebies and rewards programs... It's never truly "Free!"

Giant Eagle does a much better job snagging the upper middle class shoppers though (or just shoppers with upper middle class consumer sensibilities). I think through a combination of nicer stores, better product selection - especially with gourmet niche items - and a better selection of niche items for people with food allergies - AND LET'S NOT FORGET the absence of Kroger's ANNOYING overplayed in-store announcements (party with penguins!)... Giant seems to win with the deep pockets crowd.
omg what

Lancaster, OH

#30 Jun 23, 2011
iEnzyte Bob Pd Cust wrote:
<quoted text>
You're hallucinating. Kroger gets most of their gas from BP (at least according to someone I know in the Cincinnati-Dayton KMA). And Marathon sells 2/3 of its products wholesale (to non-Marathon or Speedway branded stations). If you drive over to Fisher Rd. where all the gas terminals are, you wll see all kinds of trucks from all kinds of companies over there at the various terminals. You would be surprised how many of Marathon/Speedway's competitors buy their gas from Marathon. In fact, if I remember correctly I saw Giant Eagle's trucks parked at the former Shell terminal. Gas is also trucked in from Cincinnati for UDF/Mobil and for certain stations when the price at Cincinnati terminals is lower than the Columbus terminals.
People in greater Cincinnati all seem to know that Ohio is considered a "Dumping ground" for low grade / substandard grade gasoline (I think it's a recycled news story in the Cincinnati Enquirer). Ohio doesn't inspect gas quality as often as all the states surrounding Ohio. So if a gasoline truck is in the region hauling substandard gas, they high tail over the state line into Ohio and find "someone" to buy it.

Trucking UDF/Mobil gas in from Cincinnati would make sense, as UDF is based in Cincinnati. BUT ALSO there's a huge refinery somewhere in Northern Kentucky (Ashland I think?). If you go far enough into Kentucky / close enough to the refineries, gas is super cheap.
iEnzyte Bob Pd Cust

Chicago, IL

#32 Jun 23, 2011
omg what wrote:
<quoted text>
People in greater Cincinnati all seem to know that Ohio is considered a "Dumping ground" for low grade / substandard grade gasoline (I think it's a recycled news story in the Cincinnati Enquirer). Ohio doesn't inspect gas quality as often as all the states surrounding Ohio. So if a gasoline truck is in the region hauling substandard gas, they high tail over the state line into Ohio and find "someone" to buy it.
Trucking UDF/Mobil gas in from Cincinnati would make sense, as UDF is based in Cincinnati. BUT ALSO there's a huge refinery somewhere in Northern Kentucky (Ashland I think?). If you go far enough into Kentucky / close enough to the refineries, gas is super cheap.
Marathon had existing pipelines from their refineries to Columbus. When it bought out Ashland, it built a pipeline from Ashland, KY to Columbus. Just a guess here, but I'm guessing there is another pipeline from Ashland's Canton refinery to here. Columbus is also served by the BP and Sunoco refineries in Toledo, the Valero (?) refinery in Lima and the and I believe the old Pure Oil/Union Oil refinery in Chicago. I think Shell's product also comes via pipeline from Illinois.

In other words, we get the majority of our gasoline here from legitimate sources. I'm wondering if the substandard fuel (if it is more than an urban myth) from Cincinnati comes by way of barge? Foreign fuel, maybe?

I suspect the substandard fuel thing might just be urban myth, like the old myth that Sohio gasoline gummed up engines. Hard to believe a company that was THE Standard Oil Company and owned 1/3 of the Ohio gasoline market was selling substandard fuel.
Violet

Pickerington, OH

#33 Jun 23, 2011
Big Bear grocery store started the card craze. I was told that's why Kroger started their card program. When Big Bear went out of business, I thought 'good maybe now Kroger will get rid of their card', but NO-Giant Eagle moves to town with their card and now that's how they keep track of fuel perks. I was so happy when Meijer opened a store close to me. I now shop Meijer for everything, they are cheaper and don't require a card. I have enough cards in my wallet I have to keep track of! Like someone mentioned earlier, Carnival foods is also an excellent place to shop for groceries. But, all my money goes to Meijer now. I don't know how Kroger and Giant Eagle stay in business.
iEnzyte Bob Pd Cust

Chicago, IL

#35 Jun 23, 2011
omg what wrote:
<quoted text>

Giant Eagle does a much better job snagging the upper middle class shoppers though (or just shoppers with upper middle class consumer sensibilities). I think through a combination of nicer stores, better product selection - especially with gourmet niche items - and a better selection of niche items for people with food allergies - AND LET'S NOT FORGET the absence of Kroger's ANNOYING overplayed in-store announcements (party with penguins!)... Giant seems to win with the deep pockets crowd.
1. For the stuff I buy, Kroger and Giant Eagle are about the same. I like Giant Eagle better because it is true to the old (pre-Penn Traffic) Big Bear. Nicer store environment and Topco store brands (they may say Giant Eagle, but they come from Topco) and in-store items are generally tasty. Meijer also fits two of the three criteria above (Topco store brands, baked goods ... plus meats), but fails on store environment.

I always hated Kroger's store brands as a kid (they were awful) but understand they are much better these days. Kroger is doing much better presentation in their stores, but they still have a way to go.

Since we are talking about presentation, and presentation only, you can't beat Whole Foods for that. Very cool looking store.

2. As to the loyalty cards, they shouldn't bother anybody with any kind of a memory. Before loyalty cards, they had store coupons you had to clip to get the sale price -- both Kroger and Big Bear (and Fazio's and A&P). The cards are much easier than clipping coupons.

Kroger has it all over Giant Eagle because you don't need your card when you shop. All you have to do is enter your phone number at the terminal and you get the discount.

I look at loyalty cards like I look at sin taxes. If people are too lazy to use them, they pay a higher price. If they pay a higher price, they subsidize my sale price. I'm okay with that.
Judy Garland

Dayton, OH

#36 Jun 23, 2011
A few reasons I shop at Kroger:
1. Ohio owned..the profits come back to Ohio. Since the profits come back to Ohio, they support local causes more so than the other chains. I always see their name in the back of the program booklets. For tier two cities, such as Cincy and Columbus, it is hard enough to raise money for the fine arts and other civic needs.
2. Better quality produce, meat and fresh foods.
3. House brands have improved on most items.
4. They round up the carts frequently. Kroger has a dedicated person doing carts. Go to Wal Mart and they only do it a few times a day. That drives me nuts if you hit Wal Mart when most of the carts in the parking lot. Any savings you get at Wal Mart will be thrown out the window when you have to pay your collision deductible of 500.00 from a cart hitting your car...uggh!!
iEnzyte Bob Pd Cust

Chicago, IL

#37 Jun 23, 2011
Okay, let me rebut:
Judy Garland wrote:
A few reasons I shop at Kroger:
1. Ohio owned..the profits come back to Ohio. Since the profits come back to Ohio, they support local causes more so than the other chains. I always see their name in the back of the program booklets. For tier two cities, such as Cincy and Columbus, it is hard enough to raise money for the fine arts and other civic needs.
I don't disagree. Kroger is very community-minded, and unlike Giant Eagle, Meijer and Target, they allow Salvation Army bell ringers at Christmas. That is a big plus for me. That said, Giant Eagle does it's share of supporting teams and doing community-minded types of things.
Judy Garland wrote:
2. Better quality produce, meat and fresh foods.
Kroger and Giant Eagle are about equal, in my opinion. I tend to like Meijer better but on the things I buy it's hard to say that any of them have any advantage on price these days due to the inflationary environment.
Judy Garland wrote:
3. House brands have improved on most items.
Kroger canned items have left a bad taste in my mouth since childhood. My mother bought Food Club canned goods from Big Bear and they were light years better than Kroger canned goods. I'm sure things have improved, but I will not allow Kroger canned goods in my house for that very reason. The sight of them makes me yak.

Kroger's bakery products used to be very good when I was a kid, and I'm talking about the stuff that came from Cleveland Avenue not the in-store stuff. I had this thing for Country Oven bread, of all things. I hate to say this, but most of the stuff they churn out is not very tasty anymore.

Likewise with the dairy products. Meijer and Giant Eagle both kick Kroger's butts on cheeses, sour creams, cream cheese, cottage cheese and even yogurt. Big Bear used to get their stuff from Borden and you could tell the difference right away when they were bought out and switched to the in-house stuff. Kroger's dairy is not up to snuff.
Judy Garland wrote:
4. They round up the carts frequently. Kroger has a dedicated person doing carts. Go to Wal Mart and they only do it a few times a day. That drives me nuts if you hit Wal Mart when most of the carts in the parking lot. Any savings you get at Wal Mart will be thrown out the window when you have to pay your collision deductible of 500.00 from a cart hitting your car...uggh!!
Kroger is also union, and I mean that in a good way. The workers at the store I occasionally go to take uncommon pride in their work.

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