Harris Teeter lowering prices after Kroger acquisition

Harris Teeter said Wednesday that it is lowering prices on thousands of items in its Charlotte-area and Asheville stores, following its recent acquisition by the Kroger Co.

The price cuts are marked with green tags on shelves in many stores.

“Over the years, our customers have asked us to lower our prices, and we’ve listened by introducing various pricing and promotional strategies which drive value to them,” said spokeswoman Catherine Becker, in a statement. “This new program is the big change our shoppers have been asking for.”

She said the price reductions were enabled by cost savings resulting from “better efficiencies” from the Kroger acquisition.

The cuts are focused on Harris Teeter’s grocery, organic and perishable items. Harris Teeter gave several examples of the price cuts. Rotisserie chickens have been marked down $1 to $5.99, hothouse tomatoes have been reduced $1.50 a pound, to a new price of $1.49 a pound, and Nature Valley Granola Bars have been reduced by 80 cents per package, to $2.65.

The grocer has faced increased competition in its core market in North Carolina. In Charlotte, Walmart has opened its Neighborhood Market grocery-format store and plans more. Whole Foods has one store in the area and is planning two more, and Publix is opening more than a dozen supermarkets, including one that opened Wednesday in Matthews.

Spokeswoman Danna Jones said competition did not play a role in Harris Teeter’s decision.

Harris Teeter has corporate offices in Matthews, its former headquarters, and is a subsidiary of Cincinnati-based Kroger, which completed its $2.5 billion acquisition in January.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/04/23/4860378/harris-teeter-lowering-prices.html#storylink=cpy