Kroger CEO sees grocery prices up slightly

New York City -- Speaking at the Barclays Capital analyst conference in New York City on Tuesday, Kroger Co. chairman and CEO David Dillon said grocery prices are rising slightly. He also said the chain may benefit from rising fuel prices because the discounts it offers on gasoline could attract more shoppers.

Grocery prices have gone up approximately 2%, Dillon said, in what he called "the low side of moderate" inflation, since late last year as suppliers deal with higher commodity and energy costs, the Associated Press reported.

Dillon said the increases in gas prices "spells opportunity" for Kroger because it has more than 1,000 stores with gas stations and a rewards program that has expanded in the last year to tie in with Shell Oil stations.

Dillon said high gas prices can cause households to cut back on restaurant spending and trade to lower-priced store brands, and that could benefit Kroger also.

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