Cincinnati Is Battlefield for Wal-Mart and Kroger

Cincinnati, Although it's an unlikely turf for any battle of the titans, Cincinnati has emerged as a major battlefield for one giant—Wal-Mart—and one near-giant, Kroger.

Wal-Mart is marching on Greater Cincinnati with 17 massive supercenters in various stages of development, either open, under construction or in the planning stages. The full-size general merchandise stores containing a full-size supermarket are roughly double the size of a traditional Wal-Mart and can have the same impact on shopping patterns as a regional mall, said Howard Davidowitz of New York City-based retail consultancy Davidowitz & Associates.

As of last summer, Wal-Mart had just two supercenters in the region.

Not to be outdone, Cincinnati-based Kroger Co. has announced plans to protect its home base. Over the past year, the company held off Wal-Mart and other competitors and continued to increase its market share to 58.1%. When Wal-Mart opened a supercenter in Fort Wright, Kroger relocated two stores into redesigned flagship groceries.

Despite Kroger’s show of strength, Wal-Mart’s market share is expected to gain significant ground.

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