The following statement was issued Thursday by Kroger Marketplace stores:
FORT WAYNE, IN – July 31st – Kroger Central Division is refocusing one of the largest departments in its two Marketplace stores in Fort Wayne, shifting from furniture and home décor to clothing. The process will begin with a sell-through of existing furniture and home décor inventory today.
After a year of watching purchasing trends and listening to customer feedback, Kroger is making inventory changes to better serve the needs of the customer. In November 2014, the Kroger Marketplace will unveil the addition of an expansive apparel department that will replace the existing furniture and home décor departments. The decision was made as a result of feedback received on the local and national level, revealing that Kroger’s customers prefer apparel offerings to furniture and home décor items. The new apparel departments will include men’s, women’s and children’s apparel, along with shoes, accessories and intimates. Customers can expect a variety of national brands like, Champion, Hanes Classics, Jockey Activewear, Signature by Levi Strauss & Co, Gloria Vanderbilt, Carhartt, Genuine Dickies, and Fila.
On a seasonal and promotional basis, furniture and home décor items will continue to be offered in Kroger Marketplace stores and other larger stores in the operating division.
The first Fort Wayne Marketplace opened in September 2011 and was the first Marketplace concept store in Indiana. The second Marketplace store opened in October 2012. Four additional Kroger Market stores have been announced in Fishers, Indianapolis and Columbus, Indiana. Each will employ about 350 associates and represents an economic investment of more than $20 million.
According to Kroger Central Division’s Vice President of Merchandising Katie Wolfram, “As customer needs evolve, we need to be nimble and meet those needs in order to better serve our customers. That is not limited to our food items, but includes general merchandise in our stores. Fort Wayne was the first community in Indiana to have Marketplace stores. It is only appropriate that Fort Wayne set the trend for this transition to clothing sales.”
The Kroger Co. has been serving local communities for 131 years. The Kroger Central Division has 136 food stores, 114 pharmacies and 82 fuel centers operating under four banners; Kroger, Scott’s, Owen’s and Pay Less, with locations primarily in Indiana and Illinois, in addition to three stores in Missouri, one in Michigan and one in Ohio. Kroger Central Division is dedicated to supporting every local community it serves, contributing more than $14 million in 2013 to local organizations, primarily focusing on hunger relief, K-12 education, health causes and diversity. The Kroger Co. was recently named the most generous company in America in a Chronicle of Philanthropy listing detailed in Forbes Magazine. At Kroger we value: honesty, respect, inclusion, diversity, safety and integrity.