Kroger Private Brands Make A Difference In Alabama

Robin Conn/The Huntsville Times: Madison County Board of Education warehouse workers Tim Middlebrooks and Mike Hill and Madison County's Director of Operations Dan Evans unload a load of Private Brand supplies from Kroger.

Cincinnati based grocer Kroger donated an entire tractor-trailer load of Private Brand items to the Madison County school system in Huntsville, Alabama. The donation was a part of the grand opening of its grocery store on U.S. 72 this past week and included: hand sanitizer, construction and copy paper, tape, white board erasers, masking tape, disinfectant wipes, bandages, cotton balls, paper plates, paper towels and other supplies critical to teachers and students alike.

According to an article in the Huntsville Times:

“It’s not uncommon at all for teachers to go into their pockets to buy things for their classrooms,” said Geraldine Tibbs, the director of public relations and communications for Madison County Schools.

School PTAs try to help with classroom needs, and churches and local businesses often pitch in, especially at the beginning of the school year, Tibbs said, but a donation the size of Kroger’s is “unusual.”

“I just thought it was just awesome, and just a blessing,” Tibbs said. “I was just amazed when they called and said tractor-trailer” of supplies.

After last Thursday’s ribbon cutting at the store, an 18-wheeler headed to the county school’s warehouse to deliver the supplies. The system will get them sorted and then invite schools to come shopping, Tibbs said.

“The Madison County location (of the new Kroger) presented an opportunity for us to support the local school system,” said Glynn Jenkins, director of public relations and communications for Kroger’s Atlanta Division, which made the donation. “In many communities, the heart resides among the youth, so we make it a priority to support education. By providing students with school supplies, we hope to give them the tools to help them succeed.”

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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.