At a time when Dollar General ponders more produce in its lineup, major chains like Southeastern Grocers, Sobeys and now Kroger are putting more resources into their discount banners.
The Global News reported Sobeys parent company Empire Co. Ltd. plans to rebrand a quarter of the company’s Safeway and Sobeys stores in Western Canada to the discount FreshCo banner.
The company plans to make the changes, which it says will take place over the next five years, at a time when the average cost of food for a Canadians is expected to go up $30 a month.
Cincinnati-based Kroger is rolling out a new look for its Midwestern discount banner Ruler Foods. The company previously pulled back on new store expansion plans, instead focusing on improving customer experience at existing stores.
Ruler Foods, a hard discounter with 50 stores in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio and Tennessee, carries 80% Kroger private brands. Remodeled stores have a stronger focus on fresh produce, which has been moved to the front of the store.
Earlier this year, Kroger hired Liz Ferneding, formerly the vice president of marketing at Batavia, Ill.-based Aldi Inc. as its vice president of Ruler Foods.
See before and after Ruler Foods' makeover below.
Slide to reveal the new look.
And in the South, Jacksonville, Fla.-based Southeastern Grocers continues to rebrand stores to its discount Harveys banner and Fresco Y Más Hispanic banners. Most recently, the company converted eight former Winn-Dixie stores to three Harveys and five Fresco Y Más.
The moves come as not only Dollar General talks more fresh produce, but Aldi's eyeing 2,500 stores in the U.S., and upped its expansion plans to $5 billion in the next five years, and Lidl U.S. made its landing on the East Coast this summer.
Lidl's not having the easiest time with its U.S. stores, having slowed down its plan to open 200 stores in its initial launch, and rethinking store locations and size, but the focus on deep discount, with extras, remains.