Henkel AG & Co.’s (OTCKPK: HENOY) Persil Pro Clean premium laundry detergent is now on the shelves in at least one Kroger (NYSE: KR) subsidiary in the United States. When I was looking over the latest batch of digital coupons for City Market, the Kroger subsidiary for Western and Central Colorado, I noticed that ProClean was one of the products for which coupons were available.
Unfortunately, I did not see ProClean when I was at my local City Market yesterday, but I was not looking for it. If I had known it was there, I would have snapped a picture of it. Correspondent Isobel did notice it on sale at Shaw’s and Price Chopper, a chain of supermarkets that operates in New York State, New England, and Pennsylvania.
Where to Find Persil
When I visited Persil’s website, it stated that in addition to Walmart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT), Persil is now available the following retailers:
- Sears subsidiary Kmart (if you can find one that is still in business).
- Fred Meyer (the Kroger’s subsidiary that operates in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska).
- Fry’s (a Kroger subsidiary in Arizona).
- King Soopers (the main Kroger chain in Colorado).
- Smith’s (a Kroger subsidiary found in Utah, New Mexico, Montana, and Wyoming).
- Dillon’s (a Kroger subsidiary in Kansas).
- Meijer (the operator of supercenters in the Midwest).
- Rite Aid drug stores
- Kroger (the website did not say whether this was the entire Kroger Company or the stores that operate under the Kroger marquee).
Since Persil is now for sale at City Market, I imagine it is on the shelves of number of stores not listed here. Some of the places it is found make no sense: ProClean is for sale at Walmart, but not at Walmart’s subsidiary Sam’s Club. I have to wonder where we will see it next.
You can also order Persil ProClean through Amazon.com. I found several different ProClean products for sale on Amazon. I did not try to order any, but since I accessed the site from the United States, I imagine they could be ordered by Americans. Interestingly enough, both the U.S. and European versions of Persil appeared to be on sale on Amazon.
America Loves Tide
It looks as if Henkel is serious about entering the American market. One has to wonder if they are truly capable of dethroning industry leader Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) and its super popular Tide. Tide alone accounted for 60% of the laundry detergent sales in the United States, according to The Wall Street Journal.
With Persil on sale at two of America’s largest retailers, it should have no problem cracking other major chains, such as Safeway/Albertsons, Target, and Costco Wholesale. The question remains if this will be enough to dethrone Tide as the king of America’s laundry rooms.
One also has to wonder if the Volkswagen scandal will create a backlash against German products here in the United States. Americans have a love-hate relationship with Germany; we seem to love everything German, but memories of the World Wars, especially World War II, linger. There’s also a strong isolationist sentiment in the country right now being stirred up by politicians, such as Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.
Persil will have to be careful about this, given its German roots. German luxury cars are easy to sell to upper-class markets. Unfortunately, a German laundry detergent may not be an easy sell to working-class Americans.
Henkel will need a much stronger marketing push if it wants to get Persil over. It will also need better prices and a better selection of detergents (for example, more unscented formulas) if it wants to go head-to-head with Procter & Gamble on its home turf.
Disclosure: The Blogger Owns shares of Kroger.