30 Oct

You are my Kroger, my only Kroger…

By Libby Esterle, Senior Account Executive

Dear Marketplace Kroger in Amelia,

You’ve arrived! I remember being so excited when you opened in August. To have a brand new, huge Kroger less than five minutes from our house seemed too good to be true. And yet, there you are.

During a recent visit, I learned that, according to one of your meat section employees, this is the first time ever that two Kroger locations closed and were combined into one brand new, huge store. So, there are bound to be growing and adjustment pains.

No, you aren’t Jungle Jim’s with a huge selection of local, national and international food and products (some of which I’m hard pressed to pronounce  correctly) and a store so big you really CAN get lost in it. But that is good as far as I’m concerned. For me, shopping at Jungle Jim’s is like shopping at the Mall of America – it’s a destination experience (with one of BEST log rides I have ever been on)- and NOT the type of place you would find me for my day-to-day purchases.

Nor are you like my other favorite haunt- Country Fresh Produce. A much smaller store that offers great wine and produce at great prices but carries a very limited selection of other groceries and goods.

You are exactly what I need you to be. Nestled somewhere between a Jungle Jim’s and Country Fresh. Somewhere I can go on a regular basis to get almost everything I need to feed my family. And because I care about your success, here are a few observations about your new location I would like to share from a customer’s perspective:

Where you got it right:
• Kroger Fuel Station. Convenient and exceptional savings when I fill up. Win!

• The parking lot layout is great. While that doesn’t seem like it would be a big deal, being able to always find a decent spot near a cart corral makes my experience that much more pleasant.

• Store navigation engineers. Whenever I have had to ask an employee where something is, they not only tell me, but lead me to it. Sometimes it’s necessary. Other times it’s not. But it’s always nice.

Where you can improve:
• Bagging customers’ groceries. Now, I am not too good to bag my own groceries (indeed, my first job besides babysitting was bagging groceries for a month until I turned 16 and was able to legally be a cashier at my local Hy-Vee). However, more times than not, the faithful bagger who was there for the previous customers in line checks out, too. I always bring my own reusable bags, too, to make it easier on everyone. Can’t we all just work together?

• More space, but less selection. You don’t carry some of my favorite products anymore (I verified this with customer service so the blame is no longer on me not being able to FIND said products- they simply don’t exist in this new location). I want my whole wheat Naan bread and frozen Private Selection appetizer trio back on the shelves.

• Service in the pharmacy and deli service needs to be improved. It’s really slow and I miss being shown how thinly you’ve sliced my deli meat before you complete the order and hand it over. You also don’t want to wait and wait and wait and wait for a prescription, particularly if it has anything to do with pain relief. Trust me.

Your faithful customer,

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