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    Kroger Market Share Soars In Cincy

    CINCINNATI - Kroger Co.'s share of the greater Cincinnati grocery market surged in the first half of 2004, as Thriftway, its once-greatest rival, closed many of its stores, according to newly published market share data.

    CINCINNATI - Kroger Co.'s share of the greater Cincinnati grocery market surged in the first half of 2004, as Thriftway, its once-greatest rival, closed many of its stores, according to newly published market share data.

    In its August update, Market Scope, a Trade Dimensions publication, revealed that Kroger's local market share jumped to 54 percent, up from 44.6 percent at the start of 2004, according to a report in the Cincinnati Post. Thriftway, which ranks as Cincinnati's fourth market share leader, saw its standing decline to 6.2 percent from 7.6 percent in the same period.

    Thriftway's parent, Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., announced in the spring it would sell off or shutter the 21 Thriftways as part of a broader restructuring.

    Kroger's gains appeared to also come at the expense of local market competitors, Meijer and Bigg's, which also lost market share. Meijer's share of the Cincinnati market fell from 14 percent to 12.6 percent while Bigg's share sagged from 10.2 percent to 8.4 percent. However, Bigg's eleventh store, which opened in late May, is not included in the data.

    The newspaper said more change is likely, citing 10 Thriftway closings in June and July, two of which were picked up and opened by Kroger in Goshen and Norwood. The nation's largest supermarket chain will acquire six other Thriftway locations in Amelia, Blue Ash, Monfort Heights, Mount Carmel, and Symmes Township in Ohio as well as Boone County in Kentucky.

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