The Kroger Co. has unveiled the apparel private brand it plans to launch in the fall.
Called Dip, the exclusive clothing line was developed by fashion designer Joe Mimran, left, and is slated to roll out to more than 300 Fred Meyer and Kroger Marketplace large-format stores, Kroger said Monday.
Dip will include apparel for women, men, juniors, children and babies. Kroger said the apparel brand is intended to “help busy, on-the-go people live with style and get the most out of their fashion dollar” by offering flexible collections that make it easy for customers to assemble outfits or clothe an entire family. Plans call for the Dip brand to be presented in its own in-store department with the banner prominently featured, according to a conceptual drawing from Kroger.
"We've worked closely with Joe and his team to develop a line of clothing that works for today's times — easy to buy, easy to wear and easy to love. Effortless style, every day of the week," Robert Clark, senior vice president of merchandising at Kroger, said in a statement. "Dip will transform our apparel business, further redefining the customer experience through Restock Kroger."
Cincinnati-based Kroger had announced plans for its own “modern lifestyle” clothing brand last November and said the new line would debut in Fred Meyer stores in the Pacific Northwest and in Kroger Marketplace locations around the country.
Dip replaces over a dozen of Kroger’s private-label clothing brands — such as Indigo by Great Northwest, GNW, Kids Korner and Curfew — and reflects efforts to spur private brand growth under the Restock Kroger initiative to redefine the customer experience.
"The goal is to connect with our customers in innovative ways through ‘Our Brands,’ ” Clark explained. “Dip enables Kroger to provide a meaningfully better clothing experience and, ultimately, expand on the products and experiences that you can only get at our stores. Imagine grabbing a few groceries and then being able to ‘dip’ over to the next aisle and finding your new favorite top or pants.”
Those ideas, in fact, were behind Kroger and Mimran’s conception of the Dip brand name, the company said.
"We looked at Kroger's unmatched heritage in food. We thought about the fun, easy energy of the clothes. We thought about what makes every gathering better. And it just kind of clicked — Dip," according to Mimran, who in his 30-year fashion career is known for launching such brands as Club Monaco, Joe Fresh and Pink Tartan. "We believe good design can be affordable. It should fit into your life, not the other way around."
Convenience also factors heavily into the brand. “We know customers want to quickly pop in and out of the apparel department, not spend hours browsing,” Clark noted. “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.’ ”
Grappling with thin margins in food, inflationary pressures and an influx of nontraditional competitors, brick-and-mortar grocery retailers are looking to add items that bolster profits and differentiate their product mix. Kroger rivals Walmart, Target and Costco generate much of their revenue via grocery sales but have made apparel a staple of their offerings. And U.S. market newcomer Lidl, a hard-discount supermarket chain, offers a range of clothing designed with model Heidi Klum, including a new collection that launched in March.
"Our exciting and innovative apparel vision will inspire our customers, resulting in increased engagement, loyalty and sales," Kroger’s Clark added.