|Received:||8/31/2008 8:19:28 PM|
|Organization:||Unfair Retail Tactics|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
|Rule:||Section 5 Workshop|
Comments:Years of shopping, principally at Dillon's, a Kroger affiliate, I have found the store intentionally maintains a low count of its most popular drink "Big K Diet Cola." 2 liter bottles are the named issue. I believe this is done to cause a customer to purchase Coca-Cola or Pepsi product at 2½ times the price. Proof of this allegation can easily be checked in this affiliate's stores and should be conducted at all Kroger stores. It is obvious that a row of "Pineapple" "Pina Colada" and 15-20 other obvious lesser selling blends should be not alone command 90% of the shelf space. I find the Dillon's Super Store 2 blocks away will run out of product a day or so after a shipment is placed for sale and the shelves are bare for more than 50% of the time. Either totally bare, or in quantities insufficient for most shoppers. Even with the hometown warehouse, the shipments arrive only about 2 or 3 times a week. I did not go there to buy 2 bottles and return another day, I want to take out a case of 8 bottles or so. This is possible only with "Special Orders" and the general customer will not do this but make the high priced selections. Dillon's will tell you these sellers are in the stores every day and keep their shelves full. I believe a paper trail might even be uncovered in an investigation, that these proprietary brand sellers are forcing this retailer to diminish the store brand stock to create this necessity for purchasing higher priced offerings. In Canada, I was told that stores there were forced to maintain minimal shelf display of store brands in order to be able to sell Pepsi and Coke. I grant you, that Canada has nothing valid to do with US policy but it does show that such a practice is elsewhere adopted "under fire." I have made this complaint before. It seems trivial, but given this is a workshop seeming to be open to a hopeful investigation of these allegations, I request this receive full attention and then necessary FTC action.