Facing increased competition, Kroger produced a positive third quarter, growing net sales and net earnings as it kicked off its Restock Kroger initiatives.
Total sales increased 4.5% to $27.7 billion in the third quarter compared to $26.6 billion for the same period last year. Total sales, excluding fuel, increased 3% in the third quarter compared to the same period last year. Identical supermarket sales growth, without fuel, was 1.1% in the third quarter.
In terms of e-commerce, Kroger noted that its digital revenue was up 109%, driven by its ClickList program. In addition, the company launched home delivery, powered by Instacart, in select locations in Southern California.
Net earnings in the third quarter ended November 4 were $397 million, or $0.44 per diluted share. Kroger’s net earnings for the third quarter last year were $391 million, or $0.41 per diluted share.
Rodney McMullen, Kroger chairman and CEO, said, “Restock Kroger is off to a great start. Customers are recognizing our efforts to redefine the customer experience and rewarding us with their loyalty. We continue to accelerate our digital and e-commerce offerings, to grow Our Brands, to lower prices for customers, and to invest in our associates. We had our best ever Black Friday results for general merchandise, led by record sales at Fred Meyer. Everything we are doing revolves around our associates providing friendly service and fresh products to our customers. This quarter shows that by investing for the future, our business continues to improve and gain momentum. We remain confident in our ability to continue to grow identical supermarket store sales and market share for the balance of the year and in 2018.”