Kroger reported its first-quarter earnings. ( File Photo )

Kroger did $37.3 billion in sales in the first quarter of the fiscal year, down slightly from 2018 due to the sale of Kroger’s convenience store business unit.

Excluding that transaction and fuel, sales increased 2% from the same period last year, according to a news release. Same-store sales grew 1.5%.

Kroger reported that digital sales grew 42%.

In his comments on the earnings report, CEO Rodney McMullen referenced the company’s Restock Kroger initiative and the role that digital plays.

“It all starts with our customer obsession, which is why Kroger is assembling a platform to deliver anything, anytime, anywhere,” McMullen said in the release.

Among its first-quarter highlights, Kroger included several programs designed to “redefine the grocery customer experience.”

The company listed as one accomplishment the launch of 219 new store-brand products and growing sales for its various store brands, including Simple Truth.

Kroger also showcased its e-commerce efforts, noting it now has 1,685 pickup locations and 2,126 delivery locations, making online grocery an option for 93% of the households that shop with the retailer.

The company also noted that it started testing new Home Chef “meal solutions” in stores, including “oven-ready options, Heat & Eat choices and lunch kits.”

 
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