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Kroger uploads Google Cloud Platform to maintain digital edge

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI — Kroger on Wednesday announced its cloud computing portfolio is expanding with Google Cloud Platform.

"The adoption of Google Cloud Platform signals our commitment to positioning Kroger as an industry leader for digital programs such as ship-to-home and home delivery," stated Chris Hjelm, Kroger chief information officer. "Kroger Technology has been working to accelerate our ability to deliver our business the tools and technology-enabled services that support growth as outlined in our Restock Kroger Plan. The expansion of our cloud computing portfolio will be a foundational cornerstone to current and future initiatives that will drive measurable business value by advancing Kroger's ability to offer the digital and e-commerce services our customers want most."

GCP's portfolio of products, services and tools enables its customers to modernize their operations for today's digital world. The addition of GCP provides a new pattern that will be available for Kroger and its subsidiaries. Kroger now operates agreements with Google, Microsoft and Pivotal. This portfolio brings a new level of capability that will help Kroger Technology accelerate delivery of new technology-based innovations to better serve customers and to grow the business.

To manage the portfolio, Kroger is creating a cloud enablement team. This talent will focus on different aspects of cloud computing: product management; private and public cloud engineering and operations; cloud architecture; code infrastructure; automation; and security architecture. This team will be comprised of specialized talent, including Kroger Technology associates and external recruits.

In 2016, Computerworld named Kroger Technology as one of the "100 best places to work in IT."
 

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‘SNL’ head writer to headline NACDS Foundation Dinner

BY David Salazar

ARLINGTON, Va. — Attendees of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation Dinner this year will get to hear from Saturday Night Live’s head writer Colin Jost. The “Weekend Update” co-anchor will headline the event, at which the foundation will present its 2017 Excellence in Patient Care award to a public health leader who has been integral to Houston’s hurricane recovery.

Dr. Umair Shah, executive director of Harris County Public Health in Texas and president of the National Association of County and City Health Officials, will be receiving the award for his work on behalf of the 4.5 million he serves in his county. Beyond hurricane response, his organization has implemented public-private partnership aimed at preventing such illnesses as Zika virus and tuberculosis through emerging technology. His department this fall introduces mobile medical, dental, nutritional assistance, environmental health and pet adoption units in Harris County in an effort to bring the department services to the community, NACDS said.

“The supporters and collaborators of the NACDS Foundation will share a truly special evening. We will recognize amazing and inspirational public health leadership as demonstrated by Dr. Umair Shah and his team,” NACDS Foundation president Kathleen Jaeger said. “We also will have the chance to share time and laughter with friends and colleagues, as we appreciate the talents of Colin Jost. The evening’s program will honor dedication to the highest standards of public health stewardship, and an appreciation of the many facets of health and wellness — which of course includes good humor.”

The NACDS Foundation Dinner is set to take place Nov. 29 at New York City’s Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel. For more information, click here.

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Ahold Delhaize posts Q3 sales of $17.5 billion, up 2.1%

BY Michael Johnsen

ZAANDAM, the Netherlands — Ahold Delhaize delivered strong performance in the U.S. on the strength of strong volume growth across its Food Lion banner, supported by the rollout of that banner's "Easy, Fresh & Affordable" strategy, whereas Stop & Shop New England benefited from a strong summer holiday season.

Ahold Delhaize is investing to further improve the portfolios of its own-brand products, providing healthy and convenient choices for customers and leveraging expertise from both sides of the Atlantic. For example, Giant Landover introduced a new line of own-brand products called "No Antibiotics Ever" from 100% vegetarian-fed stock.

This includes combining Ahold USA and Delhaize America natural and organic own-brands with a total annual sales of $1 billion, into its Nature's Promise brand that will be introduced across other businesses, the company reported. Ahold Delhaize will be increasing the Nature's Promise SKU count to 1,400 with $1.5 billion in annual sales by 2020.

All told, Ahold USA fields more than 20,000 own brand SKUs, representing 38% of total sales.

Moreover, Ahold Delhiaze is building its digital capabilities and expertise and continues to invest personalized experiences, both in our stores and online, using data analytics to develop digital loyalty programs and unique offers and promotions. With the introduction of "My Hannaford Rewards" program, all of Ahold Delhaize's U.S. brands have now implemented a digital customer loyalty program.

For the third quarter, Ahold USA posted sales of $6.3 billion, representing an increase of 0.8% as compared to the year-ago quarter at constant exchange rates. Comparable sales exclusing gas was up 0.7%. Delhaize America sales were up 2.2% at constant rates to $4.4 billion representing a same-store sales lift of 2.3%.

Overall third quarter sales for Ahold Delhaize totaled $17.5 billion, up 2.1% at constant rates.
 

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