The Kroger Company is an Ohio based retailer and manufacturer of grocery products with over 2,000 retail outlets covering 24 states. There are ten Kroger Marketing Areas that report to Headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Michigan Kroger Marketing Area covers the State of Michigan with offices in Livonia. The Livonia office supports 83 retail stores in the state with local Marketing, Product Procurement, Personal Training, Merchandising, Market Research and Facility Engineering. The role of a Produce Buyer for Kroger requires many management skills. The Buyer has to depend on many different individuals to get product from the field to the hands of shoppers. The individuals the Produce Buyer deals with includes people inside Kroger and outside organizations such as growers, distributors, brokers, jobbers and trucking companies. The Produce Buyer's responsibilities include procurement of product, pricing of product, shipping of product, retail-merchandising direction, forecasting and evaluating department performance.
The Produce Buyer needs to examine multiple items to develop the plan for getting produce to the consumer. The first step is developing an Ad-plan to meet their sales and profit objectives. The design of an Ad-plan requires current knowledge of market conditions, competition checks, last year's ad-plans, last year's sales and movement reports, and sales meetings. Market conditions include product availability, seasonal products, quality of product, growing areas, and product and transportation cost. Analyzing the competition involves visiting competitors' stores and reviewing their advertisements from prior years. Reviewing Kroger's previous year advertisements assists in developing a base for an effective Ad-plan. The use of sales and movement reports supplies performance of the Ad-plan implemented for the same time period last year. The sales meeting involves the gathering of all merchandising directors and local VP's to coordinate the process of developing an overall Ad-plan for the Michigan Kroger Marketing Area.