Kroger Introduces Own Apparel Brand
Grocery chain Kroger is developing its own apparel brand with some help from globally-renowned fashion designer Joe Mimran. The line, called Dip, will launch this fall in more than 300 Fred Meyer and Kroger Marketplace stores. Mimran, notable for launching Club Monaco, Joe Fresh and Pink Tartan, has designed a line that will include men’s, women’s, juniors, kids and baby collections. The line will replace more than a dozen private-label clothing brands sold by Kroger, such as Indigo by Great Northwest, GNW, Kids Korner and Curfew.
"We've worked closely with Joe and his team to develop a line of clothing that works for today's times — easy to buy, easy to wear and easy to love," said Robert Clark, Kroger's senior vice president of merchandising. "Effortless style, every day of the week. We know customers want to quickly pop in and out of the apparel department, not spend hours browsing. Great style you can just grab, go and enjoy, at a great price; that's the promise.
Total Retail's Take: Even though Kroger casually announced last year that it was going to create a private-label clothing brand, few thought anything of it since apparel hasn't been a key part of the retailer's product mix. But like other brick-and-mortar retailers, Kroger is grappling with thin margins in food, inflationary pressures and an influx of nontraditional competitors, so it's looking to add merchandise that bolster profits and differentiate its product mix. Kroger rivals Walmart, Target and Costco, for example, generate much of their revenue via grocery sales, but have made apparel a staple of their offerings. Furthermore, U.S. market newcomer Lidl, a hard-discount supermarket chain, offers a range of clothing designed with model Heidi Klum. For Kroger, the private-label clothing brand is part of the company's plan to redefine the customer experience. Ultimately, Kroger is betting its venture into apparel will inspire its customers, resulting in increased engagement, loyalty and sales.