business news in context, analysis with attitude

Kroger yesterday reported that first quarter same-store sales were up 1.4 percent compared to the same period a year ago. At the same time, e-commerce sales were up 66 percent.

Q1 total sales increased 3.4 percent to $37.5 billion, compared to $36.3 billion for the same period last year. Total sales, excluding fuel, increased 2.3% in the first quarter over the same period last year. Excluding fuel and the effect of Kroger’s recently-sold convenience store business unit, total sales increased 2.8%.

In its story, CNN writes that the 66 percent e-commerce increase is “a clear sign that moves Kroger is making to court younger tech-savvy shoppers are working. It also shows that Kroger is now a legitimate rival to Amazon and Walmart. Amazon now owns Whole Foods and Walmart has made several acquisitions to boost its online shopping presence.”

For its part, CNN writes, “Kroger launched a program last year called Restock Kroger that focuses on lower prices, more private label brands and an increase in its digital shopping initiatives. The company's ClickList service, which lets customers shop online for home delivery or curbside pickup at the store, also helped the company report surprisingly strong sales last November.

Kroger chairman/CEO Rodney McMullen said that “Restock Kroger is off to a fantastic start. Everything we do supports our customers engaging seamlessly with Kroger. Kroger is creating the future of retail by innovating our core business and adding exciting partnerships like Ocado and our planned merger with Home Chef. We are on track to generate the free cash flow and incremental FIFO operating profit that we committed to in Restock Kroger. We are confident in our ability to deliver on our plans for the year and our long-term vision to serve America through food inspiration and uplift.”
KC's View: