Tag Archives: supermarkets

Kroger buying Harris Teeter is probably not great news

Tysons Harris Teeter
Kroger buys Harris Teeter grocery chain for $2.4BUSA Today
North Carolina-based Harris Teeter has been a welcome entry in the D.C. area supermarket scene over the last decade. I like Teeter because they get me through the lines much quicker than Giant and Safeway — a critical factor when shopping with a child. The sales are as good as the other stores, but everyday prices are higher. The sandwiches are also pretty good and there is one walking distance (a bit of a long walk) from my office.

After the deal closes, Harris Teeter will continue to operate its stores as a subsidiary of Kroger, which will then have 9% market share nationwide.

The northeast seems to be one of the few parts of the country that doesn’t have Kroger. I’m really skeptical this will be a good thing for BeltwayLand consumers, though I suppose prices may go down a bit due to economies of scale. As one person put it “is Kroger as yuppie as Harris Teeter?” I doubt it, but we’re probably insulated in the D.C. area since we’re so upmarket (or something).

I wonder how long the Harris Teeter brand survives…

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Fixing the Nats: Marketing

I don’t think I will have time for a large essay on what ails the Nationals franchise and how to fix it which is probably just as well since Jim Bowden is apparently not getting fired. My first post on the topic (I don’t know how many there will be yet) will focus on marketing the team.

Quick — name the official supermarket, fast food restaurant and car of the Washington Nationals?

I am pretty sure Harris Teeter is the official supermarket, but I have never seen anything supporting that fact in my local Harris Teeter. Is there an official fast food restaurant? I don’t get out to them too much so maybe that is why I don’t know. What about official car? I’m not suggesting that they go the route of the Redskins and break it down to official fried chicken/official meat-flavored sandwich/non-dairy creamer of the Nationals, but they ought to do something.

How about getting some players in TV spots? Can you name a single ad with a Nationals player other than the Brad Wilkerson bank ad (tragically, not on youtube) in 2005? If Lastings Milledge is not in an Eastern Motors ad next spring, something is wrong. Get Manny Acta in one of the Mercedes ads that Eddie Jordan and Bruce Boudreau have done too.

The one marketing/public relations area that the Nationals did well in last season was convincing people that there is no parking, thereby scaring off people with no interest in using public transportation. In reality, there was adequate (if expensive) parking available. Not only that, but parking could be bought online a convenience that is appealing, if unneeded given all the empty spaces. This needs to be addressed with a media campaign prior to single-game tickets going on sale.

Another thing, why can’t I get a pocket schedule at any location other than the Nationals Park box office? I should be see these things around all over town, particularly at the “official supermarket/fast food/etc.” Not everyone thinks to go to the Web site when they are interested in going to a game. Seeing a pocket schedule at the 7-Eleven counter might make someone interested too. Stan Kasten has talked about marketing to more than just hardcore baseball fans, yet I have not seen this happen.

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ShopRite fixed what wasn’t broken

On the left is the long-time logo of the New Jersey supermarket chain ShopRite. I’ve always liked it, even if it does look like the shopping cart is full of bowling balls. It is versatile too, fitting on a vegetable can, grocery bag or the side of a store equally well. It even looked good on those blue services signs you see on highways.

Around 2000, ShopRite rebranded itself with the logo to the right.


I’m sure a PR flak would explain that this is a vibrant update of the old logo and shows that ShopRite is an exciting, modern supermarket experience and not the same old grocery store. ShopRite is bursting with savings on fresh items all over the store. Not only that, they sell more than bowling balls — now you can buy polygons there too!

This strikes me of an example of rebranding for the sake of rebranding. The next time ShopRite needs to rebrand itself, they need to go retro and bring back the original logo. In fact, planning for that should begin now.

Images taken from Wikipedia’s ShopRite entry. The official history is here. I never knew the ShopRite story was so interesting.

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