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From the Cincinnati Business Courier:

"Kroger Co. is getting a big boost to its store traffic thanks to its ghost kitchens, a trend that could prompt it to open more of those prepared foods facilities.

"Downtown Cincinnati-based Kroger, the nation’s largest operator of traditional supermarkets, only operates the ghost kitchen concept at a handful of its 2,726 supermarkets in 35 states. But those are fueling big gains in the limited markets where it runs the facilities, according to a new study by location analytics and data provider Placer.ai.

"The study looked at markets where Kroger partners with ClusterTruck to offer a range of prepared foods under a single brand, and Kitchen United to offer a variety of prepared menu items from numerous restaurants. Kroger uses an on-site ghost kitchen concept in which the meals are prepared in its stores for customers to carry out.

"Placer.ai’s study found Kroger’s stores that offer ClusterTruck in Indianapolis and Columbus 'were seeing stronger visit recoveries than neighboring Kroger branches' … Similarly, Placer.ai found customer visits to Kroger’s Ralphs store in Los Angeles that opened its first Kitchen United concept in January 'have skyrocketed'."

KC's View:

I've always liked the ghost kitchen model, largely because it expands the retailer's business definition.  It is less about being a "supermarket" and more about figuring out ways to feed people.  A broader definition along these lines expands the potential for sales, profits and market share.