• Just Style

Supermarket retailer Kroger to launch apparel line

The largest US supermarket chain, Kroger, is launching its own apparel line next autumn in a bid to fight intensifying competition from the likes of Amazon, Wal-Mart and Target.

The Kroger Co, which operates 2,793 retail food stores, says its new modern lifestyle apparel brand will be "built from the ground up to engage consumers in a new way."

Launching with children, young men, juniors, men and women, the label will join the company's 'Our Brands' lineup and will offer active-inspired cuts and materials. It will initially be rolled out at Fred Meyer and Kroger Marketplace stores, which have 300 locations across the US, from autumn 2018.

"This new brand gives Kroger a chance to inspire and connect with our customers, offering effortless style every day – from elevated basics to fashionable highlights," says Robert Clark, Kroger's senior vice president of merchandising. "This new offering is on-trend, convenient, and right in line with our customers' needs."

The clothing brand is a part of the Restock Kroger Plan, an initiative launched last month that targets $9bn in investments over the next three years.

Clark adds: "This launch of Our Brands fashion will re-invigorate Kroger's apparel line. We will be able to serve our customers across the country the inspiration they are looking for, which translates into an immense opportunity for growth in sales, share, and loyalty."

An increasing number of supermarkets have made moves into apparel, with the sector offering opportunities for retailers to grow higher-margin sales. There is also the convenience for time-poor and cash-strapped consumers to be able to purchase all of their non-food and food items in one location.

Recent supermarket moves that have been reported on just-style include the launch by German-based Lidl of an exclusive fashion line with supermodel Heidi Klum; and Sainsbury's expanding its men's range with two new formalwear collections.

UK supermarket retailer Tesco has also committed to eliminate hazardous chemicals from its clothing supply chain, as well as releasing a complete list of its suppliers.

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