The Kroger Co. is cutting ties with DistribuTech, the company that distributes free, local publications within its stores, effective Oct. 15.
“We are removing the publication racks from our stores, because more publications continue to shift to digital formats, resulting in less customers using the products,” said Teresa Dickerson, corporate affairs manager of Kroger's Delta division, in a local Memphis news report. She indicated the move is nationwide across all Kroger banners.
The move also falls in line with the retailer’s ongoing efforts to adopt more wide-reaching sustainable practices, such as eliminating plastic bags from its stores as part of its larger Zero Hunger Zero Waste efforts. However, Kroger's decision to pull the publication racks has generated some pushback from the publishers of the magazines as well as shoppers.
“We’re disappointed by the news that, come mid-October, Kroger stores will no longer house free publications like the Memphis Flyer,” said Anna Traverse, CEO of the Memphis Flyer’s parent company, Contemporary Media, in the news report. The Memphis Flyer is one of the local magazines distributes in Kroger stores in the region. “We will be working over the coming weeks to ensure our readers know where they can find print copies of the Flyer at our 500-plus distribution points besides Kroger stores.”