With Kroger’s new acquisition of Harris Teeter, there has been concern that this could be the demise of Harris Teeter locations in Nashville. Currently there are five locations in the metro area; Hillsboro Village, Franklin, Brentwood and two in Belle Meade. Kroger’s top finance executive, Mike Schlotman, was able to lay rumors and worries to rest by assuring that there were no plans to get rid of the stores. He was quoted in The Nashville Post stating that they were “making plans as to how we will operate in these markets in the long term.”
Changes In Harris Teeter Business Model
With that said, it would be a safe bet to assume that Kroger will do some tweaking to what we know as Harris Teeter. Dr. Andy Borchers, a professor at the Lipscomb University College of Business, was also quoted in the article, where he said,
“Kroger does do a fair amount of manufacturing,” Borchers said. “For example, the company has a dairy in Smyrna and might leverage its manufacturing ability. Locally, you may find that Kroger switches the dairy source for the Harris Teeters.” Dr. Borchers also reasoned that he new Harris Teeter relationship could prove to be beneficial for Kroger shoppers.
He says that Kroger can capitalize on Harris Teeter’s various upscale offerings, including deli items, high-end flowers and packaged specialty foods. By doing this, he feels that Kroger can attain more market share for higher end shoppers at the current Nashville Harris Teeter’s, while offering value at the local Krogers.
Still Waiting For Approval
While there is plenty of speculation as to what the relationship of these two grocery stores will be, there is still a hurdle for them to cross. The $4.5 billion purchase must still be approved by the Federal Trade commsission as well as the shareholders of Harris Teeter.
Residents can be fiercely loyal to a grocery store, especially higher end chains. It sounds like Harris Teeter will remain intact for the most part. It’s the changes that the company must be careful with in order to keep its loyal customers. What’s your thoughts on the proposed merger?