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The Cincinnati Business Courier has a story focusing on how Kroger will fare against Amazon, which continues to expand its grocery footprint and recently brought its Prime Now same-day service to Kroger's hometown Cincinnati market.

The general agreement seems to be that as formidable as Amazon is, Kroger is better positioned than most grocers to compete because of its operational effectiveness and efficiencies, the sophistication and adaptability of its management team, and its roll-out of a click-and-collect service called ClickList.

Burt Flickinger III, managing director of Strategic Resource Group, tells the Courier that Kroger "has the most powerful private label brands in the country, a powerful promotion program, everyday low pricing and special events ... Kroger is going to continue to gain market share in every market.”

That said, Flickinger concedes that "Amazon is very competitive on canned goods, diapers, coffee and other items. In fact, some independent grocers are buying diapers more cheaply through Amazon than through consumer products makers such as Procter & Gamble Co., he said. But when it comes to higher-weight items, such as milk and laundry detergent, its prices tend to be less competitive."

Flickinger adds, "The more conventional supermarkets that don’t have the depth and capabilities of Kroger are vulnerable." And he suggests that "Amazon is taking the Northeast supermarket sector by storm" in part because "the Northeast is much more vulnerable with its population centers being non-Kroger trading areas."
KC's View:
I almost never disagree with Burt Flickinger ... and this won't be one of those times. Kroger's ability to use targeted marketing, honed through recent years by using Dunnhumby-generated data, gives it a unique competitive tool against Amazon, which is better than almost everyone at deploying customer data to build sales. Plus, it operates better stores than most of its peers.

The companies that have not been working for years to develop and exploit their own advantages are going to be facing what the great Bob Murphy used to call "nine miles of bad road."