Update (1:30 p.m. Monday): Shoptimist columnist Rebecca Holland wants to know whether Kroger’s new pricing policies will change shoppers’ habits. See what folks are saying on her blog.
Kroger on Sunday reduced prices on thousands of items throughout its stores in the Mid-Atlantic region, which includes Virginia.
“This venture is a multi-million dollar investment for the company and loyal Kroger customers will reap the benefits,” a news release from the company said.
The price reductions apply to grocery, produce, organics and general merchandise items, said Carl York, a spokesman for the company’s Mid-Atlantic region, which also includes North Carolina, West Virginia, eastern Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky.
Kroger is able to lower prices because it expects to sell a high volume of the items it has marked down, York said.
“It’s one of those things that you believe if you lower prices you can drive the volume,”, he said. “It really takes quite a bit of volume to make it work.”
Kroger has been systematically lowering prices since 2008, going through department-by-department to see which items it could sell at a lesser cost.
This across-the-board price decrease was deliberate because Kroger wanted it to be impactful, York said.
Kroger is also making changes to its coupon policy.
The grocer announced on its Facebook page Sunday that effective May 12, Kroger will no longer double manufacturer coupons at stores in the Mid-Atlantic region, the Facebook post said.
“We understand that this is a significant change,” the Facebook post said. “We hope that you come and see our new low prices – as well as the many other ways to save – for yourself.”
Kroger is working on beefing up its digital coupon offerings on Kroger.com, York said. The coupons are loaded onto customers’ loyatly cards so the discounts apply automatically at the register.
(I will be out the office until Wednesday, but my editor is checking blog comments. I’ll respond to questions when I return.)