By Lenore Fedow
The Kroger Co. will reportedly close 71 Fred Meyer Jewelers locations within its Kroger Marketplace stores.
Cincinnati—Fred Meyer Jewelers has temporarily closed all locations because of the coronavirus pandemic, but some will not reopen.

The Kroger Co. will permanently close 71 Fred Meyer Jewelers stores located within its Kroger Marketplace stores, according to a report by the Cincinnati Business Courier.

Fred Meyer Jewelers is a subsidiary of Cincinnati-based Kroger. It operates both Fred Meyer Jewelers and Littman Jewelers.

Kroger operated a total of 242 jewelry stores as of the fourth quarter 2019.

On its website, Kroger describes its fine jewelry portfolio as “a high-margin business with good cash flow.”

However, Kroger said in a statement that following an evaluation of the jeweler’s business performance, it decided to repurpose the space once occupied by Fred Meyer within its Marketplace stores to “meet the changing preferences of today’s customer.”

Fred Meyer Jewelers, which ranked as the 21st-largest jeweler in North America by sales volume and the second largest by store count in National Jeweler’s 2019 State of the Majors report, will continue to operate in the Pacific Northwest and Utah, as well as in select malls and online, said Kroger.

Grocery giant Kroger acquired Fred Meyer, a Portland, Oregon-based chain of big-box stores, in 1998, later opening Fred Meyer Jewelers in its Marketplace stores.

Kroger has 2,758 stores in 35 states and Washington, D.C. while Fred Meyer has 132 big-box stores in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska.

Neither Kroger nor Fred Meyer Jewelers responded to National Jeweler’s request for comment about the closures.

TAGS:   Retail
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