retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Published reports suggest that Kroger Co. has stirred up a bit of controversy in the Louisville, Kentucky, market by banning the free distribution of a religious publication, The Southeast Outlook from its stores, and saying that it planned to enforce an existing policy prohibiting both religious and political magazines from its free racks.

The company said that the previous stocking of the Outlook was a mistake and that its policy had not been enforced. The company does allow the free distribution of real estate magazines and so-called “alternative newspapers.”

While Outlook Executive Editor Ninie O'Hara said the Outlook is “unashamedly a newspaper with a Christian world view.”

Kroger spokesman Tim McGurk said in a statement that Kroger seeks to serve "the entire community, regardless of religious belief, political party or anything else. When one political or religious organization's representatives or publications are permitted in our stores, then Kroger is placed in the uncomfortable position where we must include them all."
KC's View:
Pity poor Kroger on this one…because it probably has gotten itself into a situation where it cannot win. Some will view it as being anti-free speech, some will view it as being anti-religion, and some will view it as having some sort of hidden agenda.

We suspect its only agenda is staying away from a situation where divisive issues like politics and religion are connected to its stores. Which makes sense.

Of course, exactly the opposite is happening now…