- Kroger is eliminating its long-standing senior discount program that gave shoppers aged 60 and older a 5% discount off their entire grocery bill every Thursday, according to Lousiville Business First.
- Instead, Kroger is pumping its investment dollars to reduce thousands of item prices in its 94 Louisville-area stores as part of a company-wide price-cutting initiative.
- To try and capture more business from shoppers angered by Kroger’s latest moves, local four-store Louisville chain ValuMarket has announced its own plans to launch a senior discount program for the summer, starting June 21. The chain will give seniors 5% off their total grocery purchases on every other Wednesday through August.
The Louisville market is Kroger’s latest division to scale back its discount program for the senior crowd. Rather than portioning out funds to provide discounts to a single shopper segment, Kroger is opting to lower prices on popular items across store categories, a move that will benefit all shoppers — especially Kroger Plus loyalty members.
Kroger recently announced its largest one-year price investment in company history. The supermarket retailer has already started slashing prices on more than 3,000 items with the biggest reductions in produce and store brands. The price of Kroger brand peanut butter, for example, was lowered 35% from $2.29 per 16-ounce jar to $1.49. These kinds of cuts will benefit Kroger’s entire shopper base — seniors included — who could now save quite a bit on their total grocery bill. Kroger also stands to draw additional customers away from low-price competitors, such as Walmart and Aldi.
Not wanting to completely pull the rug out from under Louisville-area seniors, Kroger says it will “reward older shoppers with other targeted offers to help them through the transition." The retailer is heralded as an industry forerunner for the use and mining of its loyalty card data to understand shopping behavior and buying patterns, so seniors also should expect more personalized offers available through their Kroger Plus Cards.
As retailers increasingly turn their focus to targeting the huge millennial generation, they must be mindful not to ignore other shopper segments. Seniors and aging baby boomers still represent large spending pools and targeted opportunities for retailers. This could be just the reason why as Kroger nixes senior discounts ValuMarket is swooping in to launch its own program.
Besides discounts, retailers also should look to other services and solutions that hold appeal for an older and less mobile crowd. Health care solutions and curbside pickup or home delivery services could be savvy ways to cater to the senior segment, as well as other shopper demographics.