Harris Teeter has an excellent reputation for fresh produce, freshly made food items and customer service, Dailey said. It also has a "modern store format" that features new stores and brightly lit aisles, he added.
Kroger may eventually adopt those aspects of Harris Teeter stores. "Our goal is always to get better," Dailey said.
Kroger has attempted to fight competitors by stocking reasonably priced basic foods for middle class shoppers while providing more expensive luxury items for a wealthier clientele. Acquiring Harris Teeter should help Kroger appeal to those wealthier customers, Dailey said.
But he noted that Kroger also offers certain advantages to Harris Teeter. "They'll benefit from Kroger's size and from our leverage," he said.
Kroger has also assumed the $100 million of debt that Harris Teeter has accumulated.
Dailey said the merger makes sense both financially and strategically. Both stores should ultimately only become stronger after the merger, he added.
"We believe that the entire organization will improve," Dailey said.
Reach Laura Reston at laura.res...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5112.