Kroger’s identical sales jump nearly 15% in second quarter

CEO Rodney McMullen cites digital, fresh food, private brands as catalysts


Russell Redman, Supermarket News 

Sep 11, 2020


The Kroger Co. tallied a nearly 15% gain in identical sales for its fiscal 2020 second quarter, with adjusted earnings per share hitting the high end of Wall Street’s forecast.


For the quarter ended Aug. 15, sales climbed 8.2% to $30.49 billion from $28.17 billion a year earlier, Kroger said Friday. The Cincinnati-based supermarket giant noted that sales were up 13.9% excluding fuel.


Identical sales excluding fuel surged 14.6% year over year, compared with a 2.2% uptick in the fiscal 2019 quarter.


“Despite the pandemic-related challenges, we delivered extremely strong results in the second quarter. Customers are at the center of everything we do, and as a result, we are growing market share. Kroger’s strong digital business is a key contributor to this growth, as the investments made to expand our digital ecosystem are resonating with customers,” Chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen told analysts in a conference call on Friday. “Our results continue to show that Kroger is a trusted brand and our customers choose to shop with us because they value the product quality and freshness, convenience and digital offerings that we provide.”


Kroger’s second-quarter performance “turned out much better than we previously expected,” according to Chief Financial Officer Gary Millerchip.


“This was due to several factors, including stronger sales results and disciplined balance between cost savings and new investments, while also managing cost inflation volatility in key fresh categories,” he explained in the call...