- Kroger this week announced the launch of a new website, Krogerstories.com, featuring stories and videos about everything from the retailer’s longest-serving employee to musings on sustainable seafood, according to Progressive Grocer.
- Written by freelancers as well as store associates, the site’s content focuses primarily on Kroger employees, the communities the store serves, and the company’s initiatives.
- "Krogerstories.com is designed to elevate these unique stories and share the difference our wonderful associates make for our customers, communities and each other," said Ann Reed, VP of Customer 1st Promise, in a company statement.
Advanced store technology, pricey remodels, and an ambitious ecommerce expansion are all well and good, but Kroger also understands that being a leading retailer means winning hearts and minds.
To that end, Krogerstories.com does a fine job of making the country’s largest supermarket and its sprawling network of stores feel like a tight-knit community. A long essay written by a Cincinnati store muralist appears next to a promotional piece about saving mahi mahi fisheries in Peru. A contributor from Covington, KY pens an essay about how Kroger’s Hemisfares private label fulfilled her sense of wanderlust. Far from buttoned-up or overly corporate, the stories have the casual tone and earnestness of a personal blog. Some even wax poetic about grocery shopping.
“With everything moving so quickly, isn’t it kind of nice to know you can go to the grocery store and just roam around the aisles reminding yourself of when you were too young to reach some of those top-shelf cookies?” writes Brian Stoller in “Memory, Community, Art: Murals.”
At the same time, each story, video and photo collection manages to hone in on a Kroger product or initiative, ensuring the site’s promotional value stays front and center. This is, after all, a company-run website.
Food marketing experts find telling stories behind particular brands and products is a compelling way to draw in consumers. A company's proud history, or the work it does to find sustainable ingredients are good ways to make people want to try something. With this new website, Kroger is taking a page out of the manufacturers' book and telling the stories behind the people, products, history and communities that make up the store. Whether those stories make a difference and humanize the grocery experience remains to be seen.
There are a few issues with the site. Some of the stories are longer than the average consumer is probably willing to tolerate. And it’s not clear how Kroger will drive traffic to the site, or how often it will update its content.
But there’s much that’s genuinely fascinating, too, like this story about the team that photographs Kroger products for advertisements.