The Dallas Voice has reported that a Kroger store in Dallas will continue to carry the GLBT newspaper for the Dallas area (The Dallas Voice) despite national media reports that quote Kroger officials as saying the corporation “has a policy against displaying publications that promote political, religious or other specific agendas.”
On May 31 DistribuTech and Kroger pulled Tennessee's gay newspaper, Out & About Newspaper (O&AN), from 34 Middle Tennessee Kroger stores. Despite a signed contract, both companies have written to O&AN readers that the publication was pulled because "we do not permit publications with a religious, political or other agenda. The racks are for real estate, auto, health and neighborhood type publications."
Despite that statement, Kroger not only allows for the Dallas distribution of its GLBT newspaper, it also allows for distribution of the GLBT newspaper the Southern Voice in Atlanta in 15 of its stores (see list at the end of this story).
In the Dallas Voice story, Gary Huddleston, director of consumer affairs for the 212 stores in Kroger’s Southwest Division, is quoted as saying the local GLBT newspaper will remain in their stores.
“We will have the Dallas Voice at the Cedar Springs store,” said Huddleston. “Most divisions work autonomously on product as well as other matters, and this is one of them. …“We’ve had a relationship with the Dallas Voice, and we’re going to continue to have that,” Huddleston added. “We’re going to do what’s best for the neighborhood and the markets where we operate, whether it’s going to be product or publication.”
The Dallas Voice has used the Cedar Springs Kroger store as a distribution point for at least the last six years.
Christopher Sanders, president of the Tennessee Equality Project (TEP), said Kroger is sending a “misleading and manipulative message” to its customers in Middle Tennessee.
“It’s not clear what makes Nashville different from Dallas and Atlanta on this issue,” said Sanders. “Kroger’s inability to answer that question is damning.”
Out & About Newspaper Publisher Jerry Jones said the news from Dallas was an excellent example that reinforced his belief that neither Kroger or DistribuTech (the distribution company that contracts with Kroger to place free publications in its stores) has any official policy and that it was further proof that both companies were discriminating against the Middle Tennessee GLBT community.
“We now know of two cities that Kroger and DistribuTech allow GLBT newspapers,” Jones said. “It makes me wonder how many other Kroger stores carry GLBT publications and why Kroger and DistribuTech consider Nashville to be substandard to Dallas and Atlanta.”
In the Dallas Voice story (written by John Wright), Dallas Voice Publisher Robert Moore, said that the situation in Nashville was “unfortunate.”
“Any action taken to restrict access is a step backward for the GLBT community and GLBT media,” Moore said.
Moore said the Voice “has a strong, long-term relationship” with the Cedar Springs Kroger, both in terms of distribution and advertising.
“In Dallas, they reach out to GLBT consumers” he said.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a national gay civil rights group, gave Kroger a score of 35 out of 100 in the annual Corporate Equality Index. That ranked the chain 38th, or sixth from last, in the food, beverages and groceries category.
Although Kroger has an equal employment opportunity policy prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, the policy does not include gender identity. Also, Cincinnati-based Kroger, which is ranked 21st in the Fortune 500, does not offer domestic partner benefits and does not support an GLBT employee resource group, according to HRC.
Local community leaders continue to conduct a "Save Your Receipt(s)" campaign.
When you do grocery or gas shopping at any location other than Kroger or Harris Teeter, save your receipts through Sunday and send them in. You'll be joining the Nashville GLBT Chamber of Commerce, Nashville Pride, PFLAG Nashville, the Human Rights Campaign, and the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition.
- Scan them and email them to us at [email protected]
- Fax them to (615) 262-3167
- Take them to OutLoud!, Blue Gene's, First Unitarian Universalist Church, Lucky's Garage, or Tribe.
15 Kroger Stores in Atlanta, GA carry the GLBT newspaper the Southern Voice:
KROGER 3330 PIEDMONT RD NE
KROGER 1799 BRIARCLIFF RD
KROGER 725 PONCE DE LEON AVE NE
KROGER 1745 PEACHTREE ROAD
KROGER 1715 HOWELL MILL RD
KROGER 2036 JOHNSON FERRY RD
KROGER 3871 PEACHTREE RD NE
KROGER 1700 MONROE DR
KROGER 227 SANDY SPRINGS PLACE
KROGER 3855 BUFORD HWY
KROGER 2205 LAVISTA RD
KROGER 4498 CHAMBLEE DUNWOODY RD
KROGER 4920 ROSWELL RD
KROGER 2090 DUNWOODY CLUB DR
KROGER 8331 ROSWELL RD