KROGER'S NEXT STEPS

CINCINNATI -- Kroger Co. here is moving beyond first-stage integration to pursue new growth initiatives, many of which are based on best practices.Although Kroger declined to be interviewed for this article, the company's public statements and SN interviews with retail observers indicate the company is focusing on a variety of category and format strategies to propel sales, margins and synergies.Two

CINCINNATI -- Kroger Co. here is moving beyond first-stage integration to pursue new growth initiatives, many of which are based on best practices.

Although Kroger declined to be interviewed for this article, the company's public statements and SN interviews with retail observers indicate the company is focusing on a variety of category and format strategies to propel sales, margins and synergies.

Two years past its merger with Fred Meyer Inc., Kroger said it is on target to a

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