Kroger Across America

Unified rebranding effort under way for supermarket/c-store retailer

CINCINNATI -- The geographically diverse Kroger Corp. convenience store empire is about to get more unified. The supermarket giant owns 791 c-stores in 16 states: Loaf N Jug in Colorado, New Mexico, Nebraska, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wyoming; Turkey Hill Minit Markets in Pennsylvania, Tom Thumb Food Stores in Florida and Alabama; Kwik Shop Inc. in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska; and Quik Stop Markets Inc. in California and Nevada.

That national identity is going to be promoted with a rebranding effort under way across the [image-nocss] corporation, Art Stawski, president of Loaf N Jug, told The Pueblo Chieftain.

Basically what we're doing is [rebranding]all our corporation convenience store chains are going to this new brand image across the country, said Stawski.

He was referring to a brand image reflected partly in a new logo, an artist's stylized interpretation of the continental United States shape. Stawski characterized the design as a contemporary view of the United States representing all the diversity across the country.

All of Kroger's c-stores eventually will share this identifier, he told the newspaper, matched with updated but unchanged chain-name logos.

A new theme, Quality Across America, also has been adopted as part of the rebranding effort, Stawski said.

That means that travelers across the country can pick out each convenience store as part of the Kroger-owned chain recognizable by the new U.S. logo but each division will keep our regional look and diversity, he said.

Also new at the Loaf N Jug stores is a redesigned, larger store design that can be seen at the recently constructed 4,000-sq.-ft. store in Pueblo, said the report. Stawski said it features an expanded coffee bar, slightly larger and up-to-date restrooms, and overall a more modern look with more parking so it will be easier for people to drive in and out.

And Loaf N Jug is no longer offering ConocoPhillips gasoline or accepting ConocoPhillips credit cards, according to the report. Instead, it is selling gasoline fuel purchased from independent wholesalers under its own label, said Stawski. He said customers who apply for the new Loaf N Jug credit card will find a short-form application; ConocoPhillips card holders are guaranteed approval.

In addition, Stawski said, King Soopers card holders making both cash and credit card purchases still can obtain fuel at the discounted cost, currently at three cents.

Stawski said the Loaf N Jug card simply is another customer courtesy: The nice feature is it acts not only as a credit card but also as our fuel discount card. So if someone has that Loaf N Jug card, there's no need to carry both the King Soopers and Loaf N Jug cards. It offers more convenience with a single swipe.

Kroger's c-stores nationwide, including its Loaf N Jug stores, recently decided to market gasoline without a major oil brand, the report said.

In April 2005, as reported in CSP Daily News, Mini Mart c-stores in Wyoming and four other states were renamed Loaf 'N Jug. The 79 Mini Mart stores in Wyoming, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana joined the 97 Loaf 'N Jug stores in Colorado, New Mexico and Oklahoma.

Kroger acquired Loaf 'N Jug in 1986, then purchased Mini Martwhich was then headquartered in Casper, Wyo., a year later.