Wed. May 25th, 2022

Kroger is a mostly Midwestern supermarket chain that is, for reasons unknown, promoting Sarah Palin’s new book, as well as giving her an opportunity to sign books in-store. To me, it is completely inappropriate for a grocery store chain to advocate for any potential political candidate, but especially one as controversial and extreme as Sarah Palin.

A good friend of mine in Ohio has forwarded the following message to me, and I’ve included Kroger contact info after the message, as well as my email to Kroger CEO/Chairman David Dillon.

If you feel as strongly as I do about this, please contact Kroger and let them know it, and then pass this on.

Dear friend, relative or countryman/woman,

Ginny and I heard a rumor on Sunday that a Sarah Palin book promotion was being planned at the Harpers Point Kroger (Cincinnati) store. Today we stopped by to see for ourselves and, sure enough, Sarah will appear for a book-signing on Dec. 3 at that store. A sign was posted on the door and a huge display of books was near the front entrance that you almost had to walk around to get in. We spoke to the store manager with our complaint. She was quite gracious and said that she had no part in it but that it came from “high up”. She understood that this was being done at a number of Kroger stores around the country, like Kansas, etc. She took our name, address and phone no.

To our knowledge, Kroger has never promoted any author before and now Sarah Palin. It is not a book store even though they do sell books. We believe that Kroger is not the place for this activity especially someone as controversial as Sarah Palin but also for any candidate or issue. There are certain things you do not mix with your core business. It is totally inappropriate. I estimate that we spend $900-1,000 per month on groceries, prescriptions and gasoline AND I like shopping at Kroger, but if this continues I will not spend another dime there.

Please join me in expressing your displeasure and applying economic pressure to the Kroger Co. if you are a customer. I welcome any ideas, assistance, or organizational help to mount a campaign to let Kroger know what its losses will be if they continue on this program of promoting Sarah Palin. It is urgent that we move quickly since Dec. 3rd is not far away.

Yours for fairness and peace,
Pete and Ginny

From the Kroger Book of the Month site:

Book of the Month

Save 40% off Sarah Palin’s “America by Heart”

On Sale November 23, 2010

Only $15.99!

Framed by her strong belief in the importance of family, faith, and patriotism, the book ranges widely over American history, culture, and current affairs, and reflects on the key values—both national and spiritual—that have been such a profound part of Governor Palin’s life and continue to inform her vision of America’s future.

If you’d like to object to Kroger promoting the book of a divisive figure such as Sarah Palin, write, email or call below:

Write to:

Mr. David Dillon
CEO/Chairman
Kroger Corporate Offices
1014 Vine Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202

Email (customer comments form):
https://customer.kroger.com/comments/comments.aspx
and address it to Mr. David Dillon, CEO/Chairman

Call: 866-221-4141

My email to Kroger:

To: Mr. David Dillon
CEO/Chairman
Kroger Stores

Dear Mr. Dillon:

I strongly object to Kroger’s featuring Sarah Palin’s “America By Heart” as it’s featured monthly book and I urge you to cancel all future in-store personal appearances by the author.

Gov. Palin is a divisive and extreme figure on the American scene, and a potential presidential candidate in 2012. A supermarket is an inappropriate venue for her book signings or any political event, in my opinion.

I’m sure that Kroger’s is not in the business of endorsing potential candidates, political parties or political points of view.

However, if they now are, I have no choice but to take my family’s future business elsewhere.

Thank you for your attention.

Sincerely,

RS Janes

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Ken Carman
Admin
11 years ago

Minor correction: while Kroger is in the Midwest they’re splattered all over down here in the South. For a while, except for the occasional Piggly Wiggly, or Food Lion, it was tough to shop anywhere but Kroger. And, from my experience, Kroger won’t offer updated shopping unless forced to. I had a discussion with an exec, asking why I could go to Meijers, or Wegmens, or Tops, or Stop n’ Shop, or Albertsons when I was on the road and get a single bagel, or go to a bulk section, or… and the response was, “Oh, that’s specialty marketing. They won’t last.” Of course when they do Kroger will compete.

Perhaps part of this Palin thing is how established Kroger is in the South, especially the more conservative parts. Kroger knows it’s biggest customer in the South are the Southerners who will shop there even when prices, availability and freshness of product, are better elsewhere. Just like they’ll go to Krystal and get those stupid tasteless tiny burgers: tradition. My guess: most are Palin’s base. And Kroger is a definite gathering place for these folks.

Not sure how much luck you’ll have. But I wish you luck. I mostly shop at Publix down here, or specialty shops where you can buy less cardboard tasting, low temp pasteurized, milk, for example. My guess is Kroger knows which side their Bunny Bread is buttered on.

RS Janes
11 years ago

The interesting thing I neglected to mention in the post is that Palin’s brand new book is being sold by Kroger at 40 percent off. It means either Kroger bought books in bulk to sell in their stores, or that the publisher set up a deal to promote the books in the stores. Either way, 40 percent off is bad news for Palin; if it’s a runaway bestseller, you don’t sell it for that deep a discount.

BTW. I’m aware that Kroger is all over the South, but up in Ohio where they have their headquarters, and other parts of the Midwest, you practically can’t spit without hitting a Kroger or one of their offshoots.

Ken Carman
Admin
11 years ago

Same was true in the South, for years. I used to work at the Nashville Commissary as a security guard when I first came here. Huge depot. Looks like the Midwest and the South, excepting Florida, are their strongest arenas. Cincinnati has always been a staging area both South and North. The city reflects both influences, for sure, from my experience.

You could be right about deep discount. But don’t forget one of the Right’s methods of jacking up sales figures is mass buys and then deep discounting/give aways. Could be some of that too.

Joyce Lovelace
Joyce Lovelace
11 years ago

Sarah’s book is selling at 50% off at Amazon, so I am sure Krogers was offered the book at a big discount and felt that it would sell to their clientele. I would imagine a fiscal decision more than a political one – but who knows. The head honcho might be a Sarah supporter. Or maybe they just are hoping people will come in to buy the book and will aslo buy a lot of tea bags;-)))

Ken Carman
Admin
11 years ago

You very well could be right, Joyce. But being a forced customer sometimes, due to lack of convenience or even any other store, I will add their books/magazines remind me of the book section at WalMart. What political books they carry are right wing in nature 99.9% of the time.

RS Janes
11 years ago

LOL, Joyce — yes, maybe Kroger has a warehouse full of teabags they need to get sell quickly. 😉

As Pete and Ginny mention, this is the first time Kroger has supported an author in this way, and I can’t remember any grocery store chain, even those that sell books, giving an author an in-store book signing opportunity. I think it’s both fiscal and political — I can’t imagine Kroger giving, say, Michael Moore a book signing op for one of his books.

Joyce Lovelace
Joyce Lovelace
11 years ago

I’m not sure what other events they have had, but Wegman’s did recently have an event with the children’s author Jan Brett. Of course that didn’t have political implications. Perhaps as bookstores (even the big box) are going out, publishers are looking to the “super” markets as viable marketing venues.
Of course they would do well to be mindful of their customer base. We recently had a chain store with posted election signs on their property. The local managers did not know if the signs were posted by headquarters or the development company that actually owned the property. They had many customers complain about the signs.

Ken Carman
Admin
11 years ago

I have heard a lot of good things about Wegmans, and have always loved shopping there. They are in my top 5 I prefer to shop at. Kroger is at the bottom because their stores are updated so slowly. As I said before: they only compete and adopt interesting concepts when they have to. Lately we got a few semi-Super Krogers. They’re been in Atlanta for years because competition is fierce and Kroger is not so entrenched.

RS Janes
11 years ago

We have all the big box supermarket chains in our area and I can’t recall any of them ever sponsoring a book signing, although a couple do have a book shelf or kiosk near the check-out counters. The tomes are usually children’s books, ‘beach read’ thrillers, mystery novels and the like. I don’t remember seeing any political books at all in these displays. Of course, I’m in a Blue State, so maybe they wouldn’t try that here. I know there’d be a massive uproar if there was a Palin book-signing in my area.

Ken Carman
Admin
11 years ago

Kroger isn’t quite “big box,” and I can’t speak for management in Cincinnati, but in the South they’re gathering areas to a certain extent. After church, both Wednesday and and Sunday, flu shots, weddings…
So the choice of doing something like this is still odd, but not as much in the South.

C. Dixon
C. Dixon
11 years ago

Kroger Company, I salute and thank you for providing a local arena for Ms. Palin. Do I detect some fear mixed in with the previous remarks?

RS Janes
11 years ago

Kroger is definitely ‘big box’ around here, compared to the little family-owned grocery stores that still manage to stay in business.

I’m sure Sarah’s book-signing will do fine in the South and in Cincinnati, which my friend who lives nearby tells me is practically a southern city. Ironically, you’ll find a lot of southern accents as far north as Columbus — many southerners migrated to Columbus for factory jobs with higher pay.

Ken Carman
Admin
11 years ago

Yeah, I know. I go through there all the time. Still had northern influences but the South does stretch somewhat up to Columbus. I’ve always view Cin-city as multiple personality of the most confusing kind.

I think the diff here Rick is that in the South they have little to no competitions in many places. In those areas their stores are old and about 1/4 of a Meijers, if that… 1/2 of a Wegmans, if that. Not “Save-a-lot,” by any means. Elsewhere, like Atlanta, they can be huge… except, again, in the communities where the bigger stores aren’t competing. The Kroger execs I’ve spoken with are a bit on the Conservative side, marketing-wise. I wouldn’t be surprised if it stretched into politics amongst management.

RS Janes
11 years ago

Cincy has always had a Sybil complex — who else would offer ‘Five-Way Chili’? 😉

Like Walmart, any store that that is the sole source for groceries or whatever in any community always eventually provides lousy service and limited choices in crumbling facilities, and is usually run by ‘free market’ conservatives who fervently believe in competition, except for their own corporation. It’s the same kind of Mensa mentality that believes large tax cuts for the wealthy leads to general prosperity, although that ‘trickle down’ idiocy hasn’t worked in the thirty years it’s been tried in this country. There’s an obvious reason the aptly-named Arthur Laffer outlined his supply-side, trickle-down, a tsunami-lifts-all-boats economics theory (later called ‘Reaganomics’) on a bar napkin — you’d have to be drunk to believe it.

Ken Carman
Admin
Reply to  C. Dixon
11 years ago

No fear in mine. I don’t care. I know at least with me, and I’m guessing the others, we just think it odd that Kroger would host such a thing. From my perspective a little less odd than others. Fear as in Palin as President? Hell, yes. She’d either be so clueless we’d be in deep shisen, or would start changing laws so as to round up those who dare to disagree. You know: all the things the Right accuses Barack of being?

And there’s a lot of indication that some on the Right are not too fond of the prospect either.

The problem with Palin fans is that they refuse to hear, or see, who she is. Clueless regarding such things as the question about what magazines she has read lately, claiming it’s a “gotcha question.” “Gotcha” only in that it’s a simple question anyone without extreme paranoia could answer without a problem. “Gotcha” in that you could use the same for any question, therefore leaving her unquestioned: something I’m sure Palin fans would love. Open mouth and insert foot never brought up. A rewrite of an old classic story: The Prissy Emperoress’ New Clothes.”

The good news is that if she succeeds she’ll probably quit with yet another tantrum: people dare to question her higher than everyone else-ness.

RS Janes
11 years ago

In the unlikely event the Wasilla Runner-Up ever became president, I think you’d see calls for impeachment even from the GOP, as the international community would abandon us to stew in our own stupid juices. (Whether the diminished-capacity Palinistas want to believe it or not, we do need the good graces of much of rest of the world to survive at this point, and a wink, a smile, and “you betcha” isn’t going to do the trick.) of course, to forestall impeachment, she might name daughter Bristol as her Veep, and she’d announce it in a Tweet, no doubt. “OMG, G8! Bristol is yes to VP! Big day for Palin family, God & US! Woohoo!”

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