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Kroger Partners with InStore Broadcasting Network

CINCINNATI -- The Kroger Co. entered into a multi-year agreement with InStore Broadcasting Network (IBN) to provide a television network for customers in more than 2,500 Kroger-owned stores across the country.

The satellite-delivered network uses plasma and LCD screens located in key locations throughout the store to deliver information about new products, services, cooking tips and special promotions. Kroger community service and relevant entertainment segments are also highlighted.

"We are very pleased that IBN, our current in-store radio network provider, worked with us to develop this new communication product that will enhance our customers' shopping experiences," said Evan Anthony, Kroger corporate vice president of marketing and advertising. "We can now coordinate the messages brought to our customers through both in-store radio and television. For the first time, we can combine in-store radio and TV to deliver what we call 'perfect media,' with multiple channels in each store displaying fun, exciting and relevant content focused exclusively on our customers."

Robert Brazell, IBN CEO, said his firm has been leading the development of Kroger in-store media. "First and foremost, we wanted to make sure that Kroger customers like this combined service. Our studies clearly show that when a consumer is presented with concise, relevant communications inside a store, they appreciate the suggestions and information. Our In-Store Radio has been a trusted medium for retailers and shoppers for many years, filling the store with music and messages. Now TV screens will help to bring sight and motion to that familiarity."

Installation of the network will take place over the next 18 months. It is projected that more than 68 million shoppers will be exposed to in-store media every week.

The Perfect Media concept has been patented by IBN as it pertains to the combined use of in-store audio and in-store television coupled with transaction results. The synchronization of certain aspects of the media permits a clear and unified communications platform for Kroger and advertisers. The system also allows for customization by store, group of stores or other categories. The capability to trigger content by weather, day-part and other variables is also built into the system.

"Kroger represents one of the most important retail segments in the United States because of its reach and demographic combination," said George Wishart, president of IMS Media Solutions, a research division of VNU. "The Kroger/IBN in-store audience measurement sciences that are being designed for media planners and buyers will fit into their existing criteria. This represents a radical change in how people will approach buying out-of-home media."

Kroger is one of the nation's largest retail grocery chains, operating 2,524 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 32 states under two dozen local banners , as well as 793 convenience stores, 552 supermarket fuel centers, 432 fine jewelry stores, and 42 food processing plants.

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