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Kroger Solves Top Customer Issue: Long Lines

InformationWeek, InformationWeek
Wednesday, April 2, 2014 10:45 EDT

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CitySolver
CitySolver  
4/12/2014 10:46:50 AM
User Rank Blogger
adverts via phone
Yes I think that if we signed up to these types of offers via our phones we could go shopping when the offers suited us best. That way, we save and the superamarket gets out loyalty. Seems to be a natural next step I agree.

Kim Davis
Kim Davis  
4/9/2014 3:04:15 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: local delivery
Free delivery? I'm looking forward to drone drop-offs.

Davedgreat2000
Davedgreat2000  
4/8/2014 10:00:08 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Waiting in line
I've had to wait in line at Ralphs (A Kroger store) for up to 10 minutes while waiting for people to pay there bill. They will either pay in cash or checks and not with a debit card/credit card. If you have a person who pays with WIC (its a CA program for low income mothers, to help pay for food) then you wait an additional 10-15 minutes or so due to the payment methods (the cashier has to check each item off the list on the payment coupon that the state gives you).

The good thing about Ralphs is that during peak shoping times they add more cashiers and have an employee ushering you to an open checkstand. They also have self checkout (4 stands at my local store), where all you do is scan items and bag it yourself and pay and go. Those lines are usually for those people that only have a few items.

I usually have an enjoyable time at my local Ralphs store.

kq4ym
kq4ym  
4/6/2014 6:36:56 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: How long will I wait?
I know I should be more patient, but long lines (or even medium lines) are now becoming a real frustration. We're all getting so used to service in a few minutes at fast food places, the bank, and gas station. I'm not so sure we're being "trained" well but if I can save a few minutes at Kroger I'll go for it.

CitySolver
CitySolver  
4/5/2014 9:49:12 AM
User Rank Blogger
local delivery
I think the answer is free delivery. Then you do not queue, you simply hand your shopping to an assistant and they deliver it to your door within the hour. That saves on hassle, carbon and time.

Toby
Toby  
4/4/2014 4:29:35 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: How long will I wait?
@Terry: On reflection, Grocery stores don't really have much margin anyway. I think it is something like 2-4 % on most goods which is pretty small and only works because of the volume. What would be cool would be an app that compares price/volume purchase options and advises me of things like "You can get 10 x 8oz bags of Cranberries for your lunch pack at Safeway for $15.00 OR you can go to costco and buy a 10lb bag for $7.99 plus a roll of baggies for $.99 and save over $6.00"

Now that would be smart!

 

Toby
Toby  
4/4/2014 4:25:22 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: How long will I wait?
@Susan: You are right, only now I think the pig has left the pen. There is no easy way to deny making some of that data available if they can do all the other stuff. It's like Tobacco companies saying they didn't know the product was dangerous when everyone else knew it for sure. However there will be all sorts of nefarious ways to avoid it.

Susan Leach
Susan Leach  
4/3/2014 2:29:43 PM
User Rank Blogger
Re: How long will I wait?
That's a fantastic idea about alerting customers to when fresh produce is put out, Toby. The only catch is that the chains probably want to offload all the older stuff first. And so, like the price comparison issue, it's not really in their interest to let you know. Although happy customers are in their interest. How to balance the two....

Terry Sweeney
Terry Sweeney  
4/3/2014 12:50:42 PM
User Rank Blogger
Re: How long will I wait?
It's a de facto duopoly-- Kroger vs Safeway -- in most major US markets where grocers are concerned. Sure there are others, but these are the heavyweights, a la Verizon vs AT&T.  Interestingly, Albertsons said a few weeks ago it will try to acquire Safeway, which will further consolidate/cement this duopoly. But to your point, Toby: Anything that consumers can do to improve their savings will be quietly resisted by these big grocery chains.

Toby
Toby  
4/3/2014 6:31:40 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: How long will I wait?
@Terry: yessiree only once they start to do that, the obvious next thing the consumer will want to see is a price comparison across grocers for the same goods....then there is no hiding the profit margin, providing they are not in collusion. And that could be another reason it has not happened, too much like an antitrust arrangement.

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