Let’s Go Krogering…not.
News hit this week that Kroger has rebranded with a new logo and a new slogan, Fresh for Everyone. And this dramatic change may have come at exactly the right time. The company has been losing market share to better-branded rivals for years and its stock has been trading at almost half of its 2016 share price.
I have only shopped at Kroger out of necessity, and never really felt an attachment to the brand. I love both Wegman’s and Publix, but neither has a location near me. Instead, I have good Kroger (Carytown) and bad Kroger (Broad Street). Good Kroger has fresh vegetables, a nice seafood selection, and real-live cashiers who sometimes smile. Bad Kroger is dirty, the carts have all been stolen by “drunk frat bros,” and you have 32 lanes of self-checkout lines. (If I scan and bag my groceries myself, I believe I’m entitled to at least a 15 percent discount. Am I crazy?)
Upon hearing the news, I dropped by the Bad Kroger last night to see if it had miraculously turned into a new Kroger. Sadly, it was not “Fresh for everyone.” In fact, I spent 20 minutes looking for Old Spice aftershave, only to find that the store has discontinued the product. Yes, believe it or not, they have 137 varieties of Old Spice deodorant, shampoo, body wash, cologne, hair gel, pomade, and everything else — but not the original scent Old Spice aftershave. I can get a high-endurance body wash. I can get Swagger deodorant. I can smell like Amber, Fiji, Wilderness, Pure Sport, Fresher, Denali, Bear Glove, Wolf Thorn, Aqua Reef, Crisp, or Dirt Destroyer but I can’t smell like original Old Spice. Why? Because Kroger doesn’t carry it anymore.
Sadly, I approached a young cashier with my handful of items which totaled $17.47. As I usually do, I clicked the cash back option to discover that Kroger now charges a $1.50 fee to get $20 back. I looked at her and asked, “Is this new?” She said, “Uh-huh.” Meanwhile, a young lady wearing a VCU Rams sweatshirt interrupted our transaction to ask the cashier if they accepted Apple Pay. The cashier looked down and shook her head, “Nunh-uh.” She had a single frozen entree of Korean noodles which I imagined cost about a buck and a half. I asked the young lady, “Oh! Did you leave your wallet at home?” The future VCU graduate stared at me as though I had three heads and said, “Whuu?” She proceeded to pat down her yoga pants as if to show me there was no place to put a wallet.
I guess the world is passing me by. Somehow I expect the grocery store to have basic stuff like aftershave. I expect people to be able to communicate with words. I never expected Kroger would charge me for cash back, nor do I expect them to let me pay for things with an iPhone. I can’t wait for the new Publix to open in Carytown.
Monday, November 4 – A Top Shelf Experience
The makers of the World’s Best Bourbon now have the World’s Best Rack Cards — and here’s the proof. We loved creating these beauties for our favorite folks from A. Smith Bowman Distillery! #BoldBrandsWin To get in the holiday spirit, grab your folks and take a complimentary tour of Virginia’s oldest (and most award-winning) distillery this season. Tell ‘em Dave sent ya. https://asmithbowman.com/
Tuesday, November 5 – I’m A Solid Seven
Later in the evening, we had our Enneagram Lunch & Learn. Surprise, surprise…I’m labeled as Type 7: The “The Enthusiast.” Spontaneous, extroverted, and optimistic. #DoesntSoundLikeMeAtAll Special thanks to my fellow 7 and Office Manager Katie “We’re Basically The Same Person” Rossberg for putting the eye-opening presentation and bringing us all together for a fun afternoon of team building.
Wednesday, November 6 – Hittin’ The Mark
On Wednesday Communications Director Kent “Duck Dynasty” Brockwell and Account Executive Haleigh “I Need Earplugs” Newlin shot over to Ashland for the grand opening of Green Top’s Shooting Range. They met with CEO Blaine Altaffer and got a first-hand look at their new, climate-controlled, 24 lane state-of-the-art facility. Precisely 37 seconds into the tour, Kent was already daydreaming about his next firearm purchase. Check out the new range: http://www.greentopshootingrange.com/
Thursday, November 7 – Bear With Me
On Thursday our Graphic Design intern Hilda Hosseini had her Nickname Presentation. When this rockstar designer isn’t busy in Photoshop or on the flag football field, she’s cuddled up at home with her teddy bear. #aw With that being said, after pitching her three bold options, the Madison+Main-iacs unanimously decided on their favorite — Hilda-Bear Workshop.
Friday, November 8 – McDisaster
Here’s a word of advice for you. I believe McDonald’s is marketing McRibs to drunk people. Trust me, I would know. I met with a few friends on Wednesday for glasses of wine at The Jefferson’s Lemaire restaurant and later found myself under the golden arches. I know, one extreme to the next. Long story short, I forgot to eat questionable meat once I arrived home…and you don’t want to know what happens when a beagle gets a day-old McRib out the trash can. Because today, Gertie is not Lovin’ It.
A Few of Our Favorite Events
Ten Thousand Villages Community Shopping Night
Carytown | Richmond, VA
November 14, 2019 | 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Shop global, give local! Join us and our friends from Housing Families First for a special night of holiday shopping! Wine, cheese, and chocolate will be served while you shop around. Ten Thousand Villages will donate between 5 and 15% of net sales during the event to Housing Families First. Learn more about the community fundraising event today.
Got an upcoming event you want to share? Can we come? Send us the deets!
“Product quality and total customer experience are key to bringing our brand promise to life.”
— Mandy Rassi (Kroger’s VP of Marketing)