Kroger Positions Refreshed Strategic Growth Plan

At its investor conference, Kroger released a plan to redefine its food and grocery customer experience that it calls Restock Kroger.

Kroger’s Restock plan details four main drivers: Redefine the Food and Grocery Customer Experience; Expand Partnerships to Create Customer Value; Develop Talent; and Live Kroger’s Purpose, which focuses on eliminating hunger in local communities and curtailing waste.

As part of its core supermarket operations, Kroger said it will accelerate its digital and e-commerce efforts, applying its customer data and personalization expertise to more of the business. The company said it already delivers more than three billion personalized recommendations to shoppers annually, and, building on that, Kroger will create different data-based experiences for customers.

Kroger is also optimizing the digital experience it provides by making customers central to its activities, providing not only functional information but also inspiration and personalized discovery through recipes and product content.

In terms of its retail stores and space optimization. Kroger intends to leverage customer science to make space-planning decisions that will disrupt shelf, optimize assortment and improve in-stocks. To capitalize on its 37% Our Brands growth from 2011 to 2017, to $20.5 billion in annual sales, Kroger will push its most popular private labels. And the company said it will continue investing in competitive pricing to avoid losing customers to discount-oriented rivals.

In addition, Kroger said it is exploring strategic alternatives for its convenience store business, including a potential sale. Kroger’s convenience store business includes 784 convenience stores located across 18 states.

“We know that when we serve America through food inspiration and uplift, we create value for our shareholders, customers and associates,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO. “We understand that today’s marketplace is shifting rapidly. Kroger’s success has always depended on our ability to proactively address changes by focusing relentlessly on our customers. We have the scale, the data, physical assets and human connection to win. Combining our food expertise and data analytics uniquely positions Kroger to create new and highly-relevant customer experiences, delivered both digitally and in stores. Restock Kroger builds on our strengths and strategically repositions Kroger to accelerate our customer-centered efforts in order to create shareholder value.”