retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Seattle Times reports that Kroger-owned QFC, which started life as Quality Food Centers more than 60 years ago, is considering re-branding itself as just “Q.”

Suzy Monford, president of the division, says that “our customers, our fans, our community, they call us the Q … We call ourselves the Q. Amongst many of the innovations we’re working on, we are going to be looking at our brand and sort of modernizing it, if you will.”

According to the story, “Monford said the company has already used the single-letter moniker in some marketing materials and checkout areas. She said the company is also considering changes to the look and feel of the logo.” The story makes the point that QFC is looking to make changes in order to better compete with existing and new market forces, as well as seem more relevant to a changing demographic.

The Times writes, “Monford said that QFC – or perhaps just the Q – is well positioned and perfectly sized to innovate in the fast-changing and competitive grocery industry. The company recently rolled out technology that allows shoppers to scan items as they pick them from the shelves, skipping the checkout line. It offers online shopping for in-store pickup, and, as of late last year, home delivery via Instacart. And it just started selling meal kits – packages of pre-portioned ingredients and recipes for people to make at home.”
KC's View:
I think every brand can use a refresh from time to time, and this strikes me as a natural one. I can even imagine the promotions, saying that “we know each other so well, we thought it was time to be on a first-name basis.”

It has to be more than a name, though … because Seattle has some of the best food shopping in the country and an educated, increasingly foodie-oriented population.