Although it doesn’t happen often, one of the most momentous decisions a company’s board and top executives can make is to change the customer-facing name of the company.
Sometimes, such a change can go well, for example when Macy’s changed the disparate department-store banners it had acquired over time to the Macy’s name itself. Now only Bloomingdale’s remains as a separate banner. There was some initial consumer pushback, especially concerning changing the name of Marshall Field’s in Chicago, but that settled down and now Macy’s enjoys the benefit of being able to stage company-wide, national promotions and advertising campaigns.
In the supermarket space, several companies have changed store banners for various reasons; some went well, some didn’t. Years ago, Food Town changed to Food Lion, which went well. The name change of Lucky supermarkets to Albertson’s went less well.
After 40 years, there’s a name change in the offing for Price Chopper supermarkets in upstate New York and New England that seems to be premised on some especially dubious reasoning. [Read more…]