retail news in context, analysis with attitude

•  Kroger said yesterday that its total 2020 sales were up 8.4 percent to $132.5 billion, with digital sales that were up 116 percent to more than $10 billion.  Same-store sales were up 14.1 percent.  The retailer also said that it has 2020 profit of $2.6 billion, a 5.6% increase. 

In reporting its numbers, Kroger also said that it has "invested an incremental $300 million in 2020 that has raised our average hourly wage $15.50.  Ongoing investment in health care, pension and retirement – which many of our competitors don’t offer – adds another $5/hour that brings Kroger’s total average hourly wage to over $20.  We plan to invest an additional $350 million more in 2021 alone to continue raising associate wages."

The Cincinnati Enquirer notes that "Kroger's growth was propelled by an epic shift of customers' food consumption habits amid the COVID-19 pandemic: nearly $1 of every $4 that Americans used to spend going out to eat has shifted away to food consumed at home – so that's $162 billion extra mostly going into supermarket coffers, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In early 2020, Americans were spending 49 cents of their food dollars at grocery stores, they are now spending about 56 cents."


•  Costco yesterday said that its Q2 revenue was up 15 percent to $44.77 billion, on same-store sales that were up 12.9 percent.  Earnings were $951 million, compared with net income of $931 million in the year-ago quarter.

The retailer’s e-commerce sales rose 74.8% compared to a year ago, with the average ticket size increasing 11.9% company-wide.