Citing both customer convenience and prohibitive distribution costs, The Kroger Co. will no longer issue paper sales advertisements in some areas across the United States, including communities in Michigan, Indiana, Mississippi and elsewhere. The grocer’s weekly ads are set to go digital starting May 28 in at least Michigan and Indianapolis, though physical copies will still be available at stores.
“Kroger has been conducting research for over two years to better understand the changing media consumption habits of our customers, the contribution to sales provided by the printed weekly circular and negative impact to our distribution costs driven by increasing labor and fuel costs,” Kroger said in a statement to The Commercial Dispatch in Columbus, Miss.
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Continued the grocer: “The analysis and data provided by our marketing, sourcing and 84.51° teams has informed our decision to discontinue distribution of the Kroger printed weekly circular in the The Commercial Dispatch publication for your market.”
In a statement to the Detroit Free Press, Kroger stated: "As The Kroger Co. of Michigan continues to create a simple, convenient grocery shopping experience, we are discontinuing the delivery of our weekly ad in some locations. Customers can still access the same great savings through kroger.com or the Kroger app. Customers can choose to continue receiving the ad at their home by calling 800-576-4377."
Kroger’s announcement in some of its recent circulars contained a QR code for customers to create a digital account and receive the same advertisements online.
Giant Eagle Inc., meanwhile, has relaunched the in-home delivery of its printed weekly circular to Cleveland-area customers, with a reimagined two-page version of the circular slated to debut in early May.
“Our new printed circular will showcase huge savings on some of our most popular items and will provide an opportunity for customers to discover hundreds of additional sale items by scanning the QR code that will be featured on the front page of every circular,” said Brian Ferrier, SVP of merchandising at Giant Eagle.
Cincinnati-based Kroger has almost 2,800 retail food stores under a variety of banner names. The company is No. 4 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle is No. 36 on the list.