Having recently acquired Roundy’s and spent approximately $50 million remodeling grocery stores in Fox Valley and Madison, Wisconsin, premier retailer The Kroger Co. is at it again. The company has announced plans to spend upwards of $50 million on revamping Pick ‘n Save stores in Milwaukee.
“We’ll spend well over $50 million starting to remodel the stores in Milwaukee in 2017,” said CEO Rodney McMullen, according to local news source the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel. “We’ll continue to expand the Metro Market concept as well.”
Metro Market stores offer consumers a different look—an upscale, urban store concept that offers higher-end products and attention to details that mimic Roundy’s successful Mariano’s brand in Chicago. But aside from that specialized market, Kroger is looking to consolidate all its stores in Wisconsin under the Pick ‘n Save banner. The company’s announced remodeling plans are part of a continuing effort to revive the Pick ‘n Save brand and reclaim lost ground ceded amidst intense local and national competition.
"In the Fox Valley and Madison, all the stores that weren’t already operating as Pick ’n Save stores are now operating under that banner," McMullen said. “We had two different brands in the market and we converted all those stores to Pick ’n Save. That’s really the name we will use in Wisconsin other than, obviously, the Metro Market stores.”
Does Kroger intend to further consolidate its market share in Wisconsin? “Absolutely,” McMullen told the Journal Sentinel. “Milwaukee and the state of Wisconsin. We want to make sure we get a foundation in place and get our base business growing.”
Upon completion of the purchase of Roundy’s last year, Kroger became the leading grocer in Milwaukee, with nearly 40 percent of the market share. The company’s holdings account for roughly a third of the market share statewide.
Kroger currently employs roughly 13,000 people throughout the state, with some 7,500 working in the 60 stores in the Milwaukee metropolitan area and at the former Roundy’s headquarters in downtown Milwaukee. Nationwide, the retailer employs 431,000 people who serve roughly 8.5 million customers in 35 states each day.
Kroger recently tied with Walmart atop the Kantar Retail’s 2016 US PoweRanking® survey. The company currently holds top-two market shares in major markets across the nation, including: Los Angeles, Atlanta, Houston, Phoenix, Seattle, Denver, Dallas, Cincinnati, San Diego, and Charlotte, among others.
Will Kroger’s expansive efforts in Milwaukee pay off with even greater dividends? Only time will tell. Check back in with Deli Market News for updates as they happen.