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Kroger posts quarterly sales gains of 4.6%

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI — Kroger on Thursday reported total sales of $22.7 billion for the second quarter ended Aug. 17, representing an increase of 4.6% as compared with the year-ago period. Total sales, excluding fuel, increased 3.9% in the second quarter over the same period last year.  

And according to the grocer, this quarter marks the 39th consecutive quarter of positive identical supermarket sales.

"Kroger’s strong second quarter results have us on target to deliver the earnings per share growth we promised for the year," stated David Dillon, Kroger’s chairman and CEO. "As we have shown quarter after quarter, our consistent execution of the Customer 1st Strategy deepens customer loyalty, increases sales and creates sustainable shareholder value."

The company’s digital strategy is paying dividends, the company noted. "If you look at our digital app now, it’s among the top 2% of downloads [at the Apple app store]," Rodney McMullen, Kroger president and COO, told analysts Thursday morning. 

"We are improving our connection with customers and associates, rewarding shareholders and investing to grow our business," Dillon said. "We intend to continue building on this positive momentum with execution at every level of the company to achieve our long-term earnings per share growth rate of 8% to 11% in fiscal 2013 and beyond." 

In a move that will expand Kroger’s footprint "into new and exciting markets," Kroger in July announced its $2.5 billion proposed acquisition of Harris Teeter. No store closures are expected as part of that deal. And Kroger expects to apply Harris Teeter’s operational expertise across urban upscale markets to its existing store base. Kroger also stated it would explore potentially expanding Harris Teeter’s online click-and-collect service, whereby consumers can order their groceries online to be picked up at the store at a designated time. 

Together, that merged company will operate 2,631 supermarkets and employ more than 368,300 associates across 34 states and the District of Columbia. Following closing, Harris Teeter will continue to operate its stores as a subsidiary of Kroger and will continue to be led by key members of Harris Teeter’s senior management team.

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Target aims for sustainability in Canadian push

BY Alaric DeArment

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — All of Target’s stores in Canada have been certified for sustainability, the retailer said Thursday.

Target said that all of the 68 stores it operates in Canada have been awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED certification; most recently, 44 were certified. The company plans to have all 124 stores it is opening this year LEED-certified.

"Environmental sustainability at Target is fundamental to our business, and we have been working hard in Canada over the past few years to open our most sustainable collection of stores to date," Target Canada SVP external relations Derek Jenkins said. "We are confident that all 124 store locations opening this year will be awarded LEED certification, making Target a leader among Canadian mass retailers when it comes to sustainable store buildings."

 

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Clif launches a new line of on-the-go single-serve performance drinks

BY Michael Johnsen

EMERYVILLE, Calif. — Clif on Thursday launched a new line of performance drinks: Clif Shot Electrolyte Hydration Drink Mix and Clif Shot Protein Recovery Drink Mix. In combination with Clif Shot Bloks and Clif Shot Energy Gel, the Clif Shot Portfolio now effectively covers athletes’ needs before, during and after activity.

Clif Shot Electrolyte Hydration Drink Mix is made with 90% organic ingredients and is crafted with sodium and other electrolytes, and a multiple source carbohydrate solution to aid in fluid transport, absorption and retention. The 4% multiple source carbohydrate solution helps optimize gastric emptying while maintaining carbohydrates’ positive effects on rehydration. The low percentage carbohydrate solution makes Clif Shot Electrolyte Hydration Drink Mix less sweet and lighter tasting than other sports drinks. Team Clif Bar athletes have remarked that fewer carbohydrates and less sugar allow them to drink continuously during long athletic outings.

Clif Shot Protein Recovery Drink Mix is made with 70% organic ingredients and is formulated to help the body recover immediately after activity and prepare for the next workout. Each serving contains 10 grams of whey and casein to help maximize the body’s muscle-building potential and prevent muscle breakdown. The organic glucose in Clif Shot Protein Recovery Drink Mix works to help restore muscle glycogen while the sodium replenishes what is lost during activity.

“All ingredients in Clif Shot products serve a purpose, so athletes can feel confident that what they’re eating and drinking will help them perform,” stated Chris Randall, Clif Shot brand manager. “Made by athletes and foodies, [these products] deliver the nutrition athletes need so they can stay out longer and recover faster.”

Clif Shot Electrolyte Hydration Drink Mix is available in lemon lime-ade and cranberry razz. It is available in single-serve stick packs for portability with a suggested retail price of $1.99 and stand-up pouches for home use for a suggested $19.99. Clif Shot Protein Recovery Drink Mix is available in orange mango and chocolate. It is available in single-serve packets at a price of $3.29 and stand-up pouches with a suggested retail price of $24.99. 


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