OPERATIONS

Kroger creates two new divisions; makes exec appointments

BY Staff Writer

CINCINNATI — The Kroger Co. announced the establishment of two new supermarket divisions, a Nashville division and a Louisville division.

"Opportunities for growth in Tennessee, northern Alabama, Kentucky, and Southern Illinois and Indiana inspired us to take this path," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s president and chief operating officer. "We believe this move will enable our associates to do what they do best – meet the needs of our local customers and neighbors, our communities, and each other."

Kroger also announced it has named Rick Going president of the company’s new Nashville division, Calvin Kaufman president of the new Louisville division, Jayne Homco president of the Michigan division, and Erin Sharp group VP of Kroger manufacturing.

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OPERATIONS

Burberry Kisses aims for customer intimacy

BY Dan Berthiaume

London – Omni-channel global fashion brand Burberry is taking a pioneering step into the realm of digital customer engagement with a new program called Burberry Kisses. Partnering with the Google Art, Copy & Code project that presents itself as a “series of experiments to re-imagine advertising,” Burberry is allowing consumers to send online letters which are sealed with digital replicas of their kisses, complete with their choice of Burberry lipstick shade.

Burberry Kisses is available via PC, smartphone or tablet and creates a digital imprint of the customer’s kiss with a webcam. Other features include an interactive global map that tracks the deliveries of kisses all over the world in real time.

This program does represent a reimagining of advertising in that beyond coloring the user’s digital kiss imprint with an official Burberry lipstick shade, it does not promote any specific Burberry product or directly encourage purchase behavior. Burberry Kisses does create numerous “soft” benefits including creating highly intimate brand engagement and helping to develop a global community of consumers with Burberry awareness.

As retailers (and Burberry does operate 457 of its own branded stores as well as e-commerce and m-commerce channels) continue to delve deeper into digital marketing and customer engagement, they will discover that soft benefits are at least as and maybe more important than hard benefits such as sales conversions. Convincing a customer to make a one-time digital purchase of lipstick is nice, but convincing a customer that the Burberry brand is an integral part of the most intimate and personal parts of their life is even nicer.

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REAL ESTATE

United Supermarkets to unveil new, Texas-inspired store design

BY Staff Writer

Snyder, Texas — United Supermarkets’ store in Snyder, Texas, is set to unveil a fresh new look along with added services resulting from a store remodeling effort now under way. Snyder will be the first store to receive the new décor – as well as the new United logo.

“We are excited about the new look we are introducing this year for our United brand, and we are thrilled to be rolling it out first in our Snyder store,” Monica Schierbaum, senior director of marketing for United Supermarkets.

The new décor package featuring vivid colors that are “active and engaging,” according to

The most noticeable change to the new logo is the addition of a single star at the center, emblematic of the Lone Star State. “We are a Texas company, and we’ve always been inspired by the spirit, independence and self-sufficiency of Texans,” Schierbaum said.

Texas references will be evident throughout the Snyder store following completion of the remodeling effort, which also will include the addition of a mural in the entrance featuring images of the Snyder community.

The most striking feature will be a stylized tree, which will be suspended over the produce department.

“The tree will be the store landmark – a gathering place for our guests,” Schierbaum added.

The décor package also will include all new graphics and signage throughout the store.

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