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VOL. 133 | NO. 74 | Thursday, April 12, 2018

Kroger Spends Millions to Permanently Cut Prices in Memphis and Beyond

By Andy Meek

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Kroger has made a “multimillion-dollar investment” to permanently cut prices on more than 3,000 products in its grocery stores across Memphis and its multistate Delta Division.

Shoppers will be met with oversized signage announcing the price cuts almost anywhere they turn inside Memphis-area Kroger stores. That includes messaging that completely covers the entrances that shoppers walk through at locations like the Kroger at 1675 N. Germantown Parkway, where a bright yellow image of a few grocery items and the announcement “Say Hello To Lower Prices” covers the doors.

Inside, the discounts span a variety of grocery items, organic and natural foods, and other merchandise.

Kroger has invested millions into new, permanent price discounts across its stores in Memphis and the multistate Delta Division. (Daily News/Andy Meek)

The items are identified by yellow “Low Price” stickers and are distinct from sale prices, which are temporary, and the discounts that Kroger Plus Card holders get.

The new “Low Price” discounts on general items are permanent. Lactaid Reduced Fat Milk in that Cordova-area Kroger store, for example, has a yellow tab announcing “$2.99” and “I’m Your New Low Price” underneath an existing “$3.29” sticker.

At the Kroger at 1761 Union Ave., a bottle of Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey Chipotle Barbecue Sauce is now listed with a $2.19 yellow low-price sticker underneath an existing $2.39 sticker.

Kroger spokeswoman Teresa Dickerson said the chain is leaving the old prices in place above the new permanent discounts so the message is clear to customers. That message, in part, is that Kroger is getting more competitive on pricing.

Traditional grocers are competing with deep-pocketed retailers like Amazon, which recently acquired Whole Foods, along with retail giants like Target and Walmart that are making big investments in their own grocery offerings.

Signage touting the savings is prominent throughout the Kroger stores. Competition for customers has become fierce as grocers and retailers like Walmart and Target pump more money into their grocery offerings.  (Daily News/Andy Meek)

“Our customers will find price reductions on every aisle, in every department in each of our stores,” said Kroger Delta Division president Scot Hendricks, referring to 101 Kroger stores that span West Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Kentucky and Missouri.

Word of Kroger’s push came the same day as Rev. Jesse Jackson remained in the headlines for a protest he’s leading against Kroger in response to the chain closing two Memphis stores, one on South Third Street and the other at Lamar Avenue near Airways.

Kroger defended its actions by noting those stores were unprofitable, posting losses of more than $2 million each since 2014. A community response from civic leaders in the wake of the decision blasted the move as creating what amounts to food deserts in those parts of the city.

In the meantime, Kroger is investing in other areas.

Through the beginning of this year, Kroger had spent more than $4 million on its ClickList capabilities that allow shoppers to order online and then pick up their groceries, a service now widely available across its Memphis footprint.

PROPERTY SALES 28 290 16,197
MORTGAGES 33 165 10,087
BUILDING PERMITS 184 608 38,544
BANKRUPTCIES 33 125 7,597