Tenn Talk

Marketing, Medicine and Dad - This side of the Mississippi.

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Location: Tennessee

15 June 2004

Grocery Store Mystery

Picnic tables for sale at Kroger. Not just the table -- but table, umbrella and 4 chairs -- all for $199.95. What are they thinking? Does the shopper's grocery list for the picnic read: hot dogs, hamburger, buns, pickles, mustard, and a $200 table set? Do you charge this purchase, or write a check? Do you need your Kroger discount card scanned first?

Just who is the target demographic? Yes, there are other impulse items at grocery stores like the ubiquitous UT shirts and the 99-cent mangos. But as much as I do NOT associate Kroger with outdoor furniture, I also do not consider lawn furniture an impulse purchase.

Yet Kroger must be selling them, and making quite a hefty profit or they wouldn't carry and promote them. Is Kroger saying: When I grow up I want to be like WalMart? Or is WalMart saying: See? I'm all grown up -- I now carry groceries?

There's a marketing rationale somewhere here that escapes me. There's also a Kroger merchandise manager somewhere making the picnic table decision. Maybe he's also the pickle guy. . .

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