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Dillon: Hispanic Fry's a 'Fabulous' Laboratory

NEW YORK — The Phoenix-based Fry’s Marketplace store that owner Kroger refashioned as a Hispanic-focused Fry’s Mercado store last summer has been a “fabulous” success for the retailer but its value is greater as a laboratory than as a prototype, David Dillon, chief executive officer of Kroger, said during a question-and-answer session at the Lehman Bros. Retail Conference here yesterday. “It’s a fabulous store and worth the trip, but that store is clearly focused on a customer base that is a very high percent Hispanic and reasonably high first-generation Hispanic,” Dillon said, adding that Kroger’s biggest opportunity for Hispanic marketing is among second- and third-generation Hispanic shoppers and non-Hispanic shoppers interested in Spanish cuisine. “I see [Fry’s Mercado] right now as a one-off with opportunities for several more, but the most important part is that it’s a learning laboratory of what our Hispanic shoppers want.”

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