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The Indiana Journal Gazette reports that Kroger has decided to stop matching its competitors’ advertised prices, ending its policy of matching prices for people who bring other stores’ advertising circulars into Kroger units and demanding the same prices.

The company told the paper that it made the decision because the policy is difficult to manage effectively, slows down checkouts and contributes to out-of-stocks.

Both Meijer and Wal-Mart executives told the Journal Gazette that “the decision creates an opportunity for them to attract Kroger customers who prefer to make one grocery list, taking advantage of all competitors’ sales, and shop at one store that will honor all or most of those discount prices.” Both companies say they match competitors’ ad prices, though Meijer excludes certain specials.
KC's View:
We have long preached the value of not depending on low prices as the best way to appeal to shoppers, that it is better to find another hook to get consumers in the door. Seems to us that this is what Kroger has done, so we’d be inconsistent not to agree with the decision.

You have to decide 1) what kind of store you want to be, and 2) what kind of consumer you want to attract. It’s important to be sharp on pricing, but there has to be something else – almost anything else – that establishes your image and presence in the marketplace.

That said, wonder if Kroger execs had to swallow hard before making what is a fairly gutsy move?