Kroger 'Dips' Into Signature Fashion

New private label clothing line, created by Loblaw's Joe Fresh designer, to focus on convenience
Photo courtesy of Kroger

The Kroger Co. has taken the wraps off a new signature apparel brand, Dip, which was developed in partnership with globally-renowned fashion designer Joe Mimran.

Notable for launching Club Monaco and Pink Tartan, Mimran also designed the Joe Fresh line for Canada's Loblaw Cos. The name of the designer's latest venture with Kroger, "just kind of clicked," according to Robert Clark, Kroger's SVP of merchandising. Clark said Dip represents the Cincinnati-based retailer's heritage in food and is "simple, fresh and goes great with everything."

The new line, which the retailer first hinted of in November, will overhaul Kroger's dozen-plus existing private label clothing brands as part of its Restock initiative, and it will debut in 300 Marketplace and Fred Meyer stores this fall. The affordably priced clothing brand will include men's, women's, juniors, kids and baby collections.

As Clark explained, the retailer recognized that customers will want to "quickly pop in and out of the apparel department, not spend hours browsing. The goal is to connect with our customers in innovative ways," foremost to which is Kroger's expansive own brands platform. "Dip enables Kroger to provide a meaningfully better clothing experience, and ultimately, expand on the products and experiences that you can only get at our stores. Imagine grabbing a few groceries and then being able to dip over to the next aisle and finding your new favorite top or pants?"

Kroger’s foray into a signature apparel line follows the leads of other major retailers, such as Target, Walmart and Meijer, all of which have been in the space for several years.

Renowned for its exclusive, high-profile partnerships with leading designers such as Lilly Pulitzer, Kirna Zabete, Cat & Jack and many others, Target’s most recent limited-edition collaboration was with Hunter, a British heritage brand founded in 1856 that is known for its iconic original Wellington boot, protective outerwear, bags and accessories.

Walmart also recently introduced new apparel private brands for women, men and kids from Time and Tru, Terra & Sky, and Wonder Nation, and it has relaunched its existing George brand around men's clothes. The launches are aimed at elevating Walmart’s apparel category while underscoring the retailer’s commitment to quality and stylish fashion at “an incredible value ... with improvements such as stretch where it matters, soft fabrics, tagless garments and adjustable waistbands.” Prices in Walmart’s exclusive apparel lines range from less than $5 to $30.

Meijer also recently expanded its selection of apparel for young men with the addition of snow and skate headwear company Neff, which features a special collection of graphic tees, tanks and shorts. The retailer plans to have the line in all stores by this fall.  Neff is the latest addition to Meijer's expanding apparel selection. In 2017, Meijer introduced its first own brand, Edgar + Ash, for young men, which includes a variety of jackets, hoodies, flannel shirts, novelty tees, elongated tees, joggers and shorts.


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