The Kroger Co.’s family of 2,800 stores, which operate under a variety of local banners in 35 states and the District of Columbia, paced as the Most Trusted Retailer runner-up, winning trust among 13% of grocery shoppers. While Kroger saw its stock plunge more than 37% last year, the world’s third-largest retailer continues to hold sway with American shoppers.
To stoke the fi res with new-age kindling, the Cincinnati-based company is mounting an aggressive campaign to catapult itself into the future of grocery by embarking on a strategic reset. In 2017, Kroger revealed its new Restock effort, aimed at “redefining the grocery experience” with heavy capital investments—$9 billion over the next three years—coupled with cost savings in opportune business segments. This includes the sale of more than 760 stores from Kroger’s $4 billion convenience-store business to U.K.-based EG Group in February 2018.
The central goal of Kroger’s Restock plan focuses on improving the customer shopping experience, both online and in stores; investing an incremental $500 million in store associates for better pay and training; and expanding its Scan, Bag, Go program from 20 stores in late 2017 to 400 this year.
In addition, Kroger plans to accelerate its customer-value proposition with heavier investments in infrastructure and technology upgrades that will be further bolstered by creating additional revenue streams, including its internet of things sensor network, video analytics and artificial intelligence.
Aldi and Publix Super Markets also factored high on the Most Trusted retailers’ leaderboard as the remaining two to surpass the 5% benchmark, followed next by Trader Joe’s and Safeway, which each earned a 4% Most Trusted grade, and Target and ShopRite, which scored a 3% nod among U.S. food shoppers.