business news in context, analysis with attitude

Kroger this morning reported that its Q2 online sales were up 127 percent compared to the same period a year ago, as the retailer continued to deliver on increased demand for online shopping created by the pandemic.  Same-store sales were up 14.6 percent compared to the same period a year earlier.

According to the press release, "Total company sales were $30.5 billion in the second quarter, compared to $28.2 billion for the same period last year. Excluding fuel, sales grew 13.9%."   Q2 operating profit was $820 million, compared to $559 million during the year-ago period.

KC's View:

These results would seem to deliver on pretty much everything that experts were hoping for - online sales that continue to be strong despite a certain leveling out of the concerns related to the pandemic.  (I'm not sure there should be a leveling out of concerns, but there it is.)  Plus, double-digit same store sales growth.

The challenge to Kroger - and its brethren - is to continue building on this growth and figuring out how retailers have to be fundamentally different at the end of the pandemic than they were going in.  They have to build trust, relevance, and resonance … and, to use a phrase that came up in my conversation with Benjamin Lorr (and that I'll probably be using a lot going forward, because I know a good catchphrase when I hear one), creating a culture of innovation rather than relying on a culture of maintenance.