Magazine article American Banker

Kroger Negotiates Plans for Bank Branches in Its Carolina Stores

Magazine article American Banker

Kroger Negotiates Plans for Bank Branches in Its Carolina Stores

Article excerpt

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The Kroger Co. has licensed a Georgia banking consultant to negotiate full-service bank or savings and loan branches in more than 30 of its grocery stores in North and South Carolina.

John W. Garnett, marketing director of Atlanta-based International Banking Technology Inc., said he expects to announce an agreement, pending regulatory approval, with one or more institutions by early June. IBT is an affiliate of Heritage Bank of Atlantia, which has 16 branches on Kroger supermarkets in metropolitan Atlanta.

Cincinnati-based Kroger's Sav-on division in Charlotte, N.C., has agreed to let IBT sublicense financial institutions at its 36 grocery stores in the Carolinas and Savannah, Ga. IBT is also talking with Kroger's mid-Atlantic division in roanoke, Va., which operates 11 stores in the Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and Durham markets of North Carolina, Mr. Garnett said.

Bob Zinke, director of merchandising for Kroger's mid-Atlantic division, said officials there haven't signed anything. But they are receptive to the idea because of two successful banking arrangements at stores in Virginia and West Virginia.

Mr. Garnett said IBT is interested in a sweeping arrangement for the Carolinas stores.

"We prefer to deal with one financial institution that will take all the locations in [each] state," he said. "If we're unable to find a candidate with that deep a pocket, or one where it fits in with their marketing strategy, we'll try to negotiate regional clusters. …

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