Kroger is ready to take on Amazon and offer its customers more than just groceries, announcing that it will be launching an apparel brand in Fall 2018.
According to CNBC, the move comes after Kroger faces increased competition from Amazon, which acquired Whole Foods earlier this year. In addition, Lidl, a German-based grocer rapidly expanding across the U.S., also sells apparel and recently launched an exclusive line with celebrity designer Heidi Klum, while retail giants Walmart and Target also offer both groceries and clothing to customers.
After the announcement, which comes after the company outlined its “Kroger Restock” initiative at an investor day last month, Kroger shares were climbing about 2 percent in early trade. Its shares had fallen around 38 percent this year.
“This new [apparel] brand gives Kroger a chance to inspire and connect with our customers, offering effortless style every day — from elevated basics to fashionable highlights,” Robert Clark, Kroger’s senior vice president of merchandising, said in a statement. “This new offering is on-trend, convenient, and right in line with our customers’ needs.”
The apparel brand will initially roll out across Fred Meyer and Kroger Marketplace stores, which account for 300 locations nationwide. Described as “modern,” “playful” and “simple,” the line will be available in sizes for children, young men, juniors, men and women. There will also be a focus on activewear.
Another part of the “Restock” plan consists of heavy capital investments — $9 billion over the next three years. In addition, Kroger is exploring strategic alternatives, with the help of Goldman Sachs, for its convenience-store business, including a potential sale.