- Kroger, the nation's largest supermarket chain, reported a better-than-expected profit for the year ahead, attributing part of its positive results to its ability to serve customers who stocked up on groceries in advance of this winter's storms.
- For the period ending Feb. 1, Kroger Co. said sales at established locations rose 4.3%, excluding fuel. That's substantially better than Safeway, which reported 1.6% for its latest quarter.
- Kroger does not rely on the weather in the highly competitive grocery market; it has also adapted strategies to tailor stores to the needs of particular locations, improving the shopping experience and keeping prices down.
In contrast to National Beverage Corp., which attributed its losses to the weather, Kroger succeeded in turning a challenging situation to its advantage, a type of agility that's crucial to keeping one's competitive advantage. Safeway's sale, another item on the news today, is also a reflection of the intense competition faced by those involved in the retail food business. With about 2,640 supermarkets under the names Dillons, King Soopers, and Kroger, the chain will still be larger than the Safeway and Albertsons merger. But they cannot rely on numbers alone to keep their customers. CEO Rodney McMullen said that not only were stores fully stocked for the run on food before the storm, but they also offered hospitality as well: "In some cases, our associates even welcomed stranded travelers in extreme freezing conditions to spend the night in one of our stores.”