Honey, can you go to the store and get some milk, bread and those new pants that are the hottest fashion trend?
Midlands shoppers can soon get the chance to get all of their grocery and apparel needs in one location. That’s because Kroger is launching its own fashion line.
Kroger is known for its wide variety of groceries at affordable prices, and has four locations in the Midlands.
Now the nation’s largest supermarket chain, with 2,793 locations across the U.S., is looking to make its mark with its clothes line.
“This new brand gives Kroger a chance to inspire and connect with our customers, offering effortless style every day – from elevated basics to fashionable highlights,” Kroger’s senior vice president of merchandising Robert Clark said on kroger.com. “This new offering is on-trend, convenient, and right in line with our customers’ needs.”
The casual collection will span from children to teens to adults. Kroger’s ad campaign is branding it as clothes to “truly live life in, and look good doing it.”
In recent years, Kroger Co. has sold some clothing under different national brands. But this will be an aggressive move to market its own product, as Kroger already does with world foods, healthy and organic foods, deli meats, baby supplies and pet food among other items.
“This launch of Our Brands fashion will re-invigorate Kroger’s apparel line. We will be able to serve our customers across the country the inspiration they are looking for, which translates into an immense opportunity for growth in sales, share, and loyalty,” Clark said.
The fashion line will debut at 300 of Kroger’s stores starting in fall 2018. That will include Midlands shoppers, one of the Columbia-area Kroger stores is expected to be included in the launch.
The Kroger Marketplace at 1028 Roberts Branch Pkwy., near the intersection of Killian and Farrow roads, is expected to be one of the grocery stores carrying the new apparel.
The move comes as traditional grocery chains like Kroger and Publix have faced increasing competition from all fronts, from discounters like Walmart and Target to Amazon to high-end grocers.
Midlands shoppers have also been given more grocery options with the addition of Lowes Foods, Trader Joes and Aldi in recent years. Now another German discount grocery chain, Lidl, is adding locations to the area.
But Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods Market Inc. over the summer has dramatically raised concerns about the viability of traditional grocers. That could be what’s spurring Kroger to expand beyond groceries and focus on shopper’s lifestyle.
Shoppers who talked with The Associated Press in August said what they want most is lower prices and one-stop shopping.
How long will it be before you won’t just put gas in your car at Kroger, but you can buy the car there, too?
The Associated Press contributed to this report.