In the dog eat dog world of retail, grocery stores are attempting to take a bite out of what has been apparel retailers’ domain.
So far this summer, both Meijer and Kroger have announced new clothing lines.
Meijer, which offers everything from electronics to camping equipment and home accents to skin care products, is no stranger to apparel. The retailer, which added Neff apparel for young men in April, announced the launch of its latest line Ophelia Rose on Monday. The women’s collection features office-ready looks in sizes small through 3X.
“There is a nationwide dilemma where women are confused about what to wear at work because there’s a big difference between denim and donning a structured suit–and those aren’t necessarily the best options on a daily basis,” said Annette Repasch, group vice president of softlines for Meijer, adding Ophelia Rose is the “perfect solution.”
Calling it a first for the company, Meijer said shoppers can expect trend-right details and elevated fabrication in the line, which will be replenished every eight weeks.
For its part, Kroger is going for instant fashion cred by teaming with retail veteran Joe Mimran, whose claims to retail include having launched Club Monaco and Joe Fresh. The grocer will bow Dip, a new line for men, women and children, in 300 Fred Meyer and Kroger Marketplace stores in September.
When pondering the name, Mimran said, the company went for a play on words that also represented how consumers shop now. “Dip is simple, fresh, and goes great with everything,” he said.
Similarly, the company said Dip is easy and effortless.
Robert Clark, Kroger’s SVP of merchandising, added, “We know customers want to quickly pop in and out of the apparel department, not spend hours browsing. Great style you can just grab, go, and enjoy, at a great price; that’s the promise. This is an invitation to ‘Dip into simple. Dip into style.'”
With the addition of Dip, 12 or more other private label brands will be on the way out, as the retailer attempts to evolve its assortment.
“Our exciting and innovative apparel vision will inspire our customers, resulting in increased engagement, loyalty and sales,” Clark said.
Dip joins Kroger’s Our Brands, a private label collection for the whole family.
Clothing in U.S. grocery store aisles is becoming increasingly common, especially as European retailers expand here. Aldi, for instance, is known for its apparel and home goods, while the Lidl chain has teamed with Heidi Klum on past collections.