Kroger Co. is giving Walmart a run for its money. In fiscal 2014 Kroger gained market share in 18 of 20 markets tracked by Nielsen, and Walmart is a major player in 15 of those markets, Kroger said in a conference call with analysts on Thursday.
“For the 10th year in a row, we lowered costs and reinvested those savings to improve our store experience. It's no surprise that Kroger captured more share of the massive food market also for the tenth year in a row,” said Michael Ellis, president and COO of the Cincinnati company.
Kroger tracks market share using point-of-sale data from Nielsen, which utilizes data from both Kroger and its competitors. The Nielsen data used tracks about 85% of Kroger items.
Kroger only lost share in two markets that Nielsen tracks. Ellis said that Kroger’s overall market share of products grew 60 basis points.
Kroger dedicated $3.5 billion to price investments in fiscal 2014. Kroger executives made clear that significant price investments will continue to be a pillar of Kroger’s business model.
“Obviously, we have a tremendous amount of data that we have developed internally to make sure that we're investing that in the right place where we get the best return. So, we would see it sustainable, and it is part of our continued strategy,” said CEO Rodney McMullen.
After Kroger reported a better-than-expected fiscal year, analysts expect continued strong performance from Kroger in the next fiscal year.
Kroger's natural private brands achieved the expected $1 billion in sales in the fiscal year, and Kroger expects continued growth.
"It's more of a way of life for our customer today. The other thing is that in certain categories we are starting to integrate it rather than put it in a separate space as well," said Michael Schlotman, Kroger CFO.
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