The Kroger Co. (Cincinnati) has announced the launch of Private Selection, a private-label brand of grocery, produce, meat, deli and seafood items. The company has referred to the new line as "premium-quality products at non-premium prices." The products will appear initially in more than 2,300 Kroger stores. With nearly 3500 stores and $45 billion in annual sales, Kroger is the largest grocery store retailer in the U.S.
At the same time, one of its regional competitors is attempting to become larger. Piggly Wiggly (Charleston, S.C.) announced that it has acquired 10 stores in South Carolina from Acme Markets, which entered the region just 18 months ago. Piggly Wiggly says it will close three of the stores it purchased. The retailer operates 750 stores in 19 states.