Loyalty360 Reads: FTC Seeks To Block Kroger-Albertsons Merger, Home Décor Online Shopping Increases, and Bearcats’ Fans Get New App and Rewards Program

Citing Possible Higher Prices, the FTC Attempts to Block Kroger-Albertsons Merger  

In an administrative complaint filed on February 26, 2024, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) claims the merger between grocery retailers Kroger and Albertsons would negatively impact competition and deliver a blow to millions of Americans through higher prices. A similar lawsuit was filed by the FTC — along with eight state/district attorney generals — with the U.S. District Court in Oregon with the intent of seeking a temporary injunction to stop the merger. Ken Goldman, an analyst with J.P. Morgan, reports the merger would give Kroger and Albertsons control of around 13% of the U.S. grocery market.   

“Kroger’s acquisition of Albertsons would lead to additional grocery price hikes for everyday goods, further exacerbating the financial strain consumers across the country face today,” says Henry Liu, the director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition.  

Kroger and Albertsons state that if the merger does not go through, customers will face an increase in food prices as well as store closings. In a prepared statement, Albertsons argued that “Albertsons Cos.’ merger with Kroger will ensure our neighborhood supermarkets can better compete with these mega retailers, all while benefitting our customers, associates, and communities.”  

According to the FTC, the Kroger-Albertsons grocery merger — a $24.6B deal — would be the largest in the nation’s history. Employers of both grocery giants are members of the United Food and Commercial Workers union, which opposes the merger. 

Kroger and Albertsons plan to challenge the FTC in court. 

Information on mergers and competition in the U.S. can be found on the FTC’s website:
https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/topics/competition-enforcement  

 

2 Visions Reveals Online Home Décor Shopping Numbers Are Up 

In a February 2024 survey of 1,845 U.S. consumers conducted by 2 Visions, a surprising 82.46% of consumers demonstrated a marked inclination to shop for home décor items online. However, 55.9% of consumers indicated the in-store shopping experience was still valid. The two statistics, taken together, could point to the value of a hybrid approach executed by retailers.  

Other consumers key findings revealed that:  

  • 33.18% find competitive pricing when considering in-store prices versus online deals  

  • 42.65% are overwhelmed by online choices 

  • Baby Boomers are responsible for the biggest purchase rate online and in-store 

“Our latest findings emphasize the need for ecommerce leaders to adapt and innovate. While the readiness to shop online for home décor is higher than anticipated, the enduring value of in-store experiences cannot be overlooked. This presents a unique opportunity for brands to refine their omnichannel strategies, ensuring they meet consumers’ expectations for convenience, variety, and quality, both online and offline. As we navigate these changing tides, understanding and leveraging these insights will be key to crafting engaging, consumer-centric shopping experiences,” says Yates Jarvis, Principal at 2 Visions.  

The 2 Visions report also offers insights on hybrid shopping preferences, discover channels, emotional connections, brand loyalty, and more.  

Find the full 2024 Home Decor Ecommerce Market Research Report at:
https://2visions.org/ecommerce-market-research/2024-home-decor-home-goods-ecommerce-research-report/  

 

University of Cincinnati Athletics Launch New App and Rewards Program for Bearcats’ Fans 

University of Cincinnati Athletics has launched its new Red and Black Rewards Program alongside the release of its updated app, GoBearcats. Current app users will receive automatic updates. The new rewards program is designed to elevate the fan experience at home events. Polls and trivia questions found in the mobile app offer a way for fans to earn points to be exchanged for items found in the prize store. Exclusive gameday experiences, auctions, and sweepstakes are also part of the enhanced program.    

Fans are encouraged to sign up through the app to enjoy a more tailored experience. Users can shop for merchandise, manage event tickets, receive Bearcats news and scores, and even stream live games. Those signing up for the Red and Black Rewards Program through the app will score an automatic 100 points.    

SIDEARM Sports powers the GoBearcats app, which can be downloaded from Apple’s App Store or Google Play.     

Fans can learn more about the Bearcats at the Athletics home page: https://gobearcats.com/  

 

Read More on Trends, Updates, and Industry Leaders   

 

Original Article Links:  

US sues to block merger of grocery giants Kroger and Albertsons, saying it could push prices higher 

82% of Consumers Ready to Embrace Online Home Decor Shopping, Surprising Industry Leaders 

Cincinnati Athletics Launches New Mobile App, Fan-Rewards Program 

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