FINANCE

Kroger CEO pay falls for third consecutive year

BY CSA STAFF

Cincinnati — Kroger Co. CEO and chairman David Dillon saw his pay fell again as the chain’s sales and profit growth fell below tough targets amid continuing economic instability.

An Associated Press analysis shows Dillon received compensation for 2011 valued at $5.4 million, down 19% from 2009. It is the third straight year in which Dillon’s largely performance-based pay fell.

The AP’s calculation counts salary, bonuses, perks and stock and options awarded to the executive during the year.

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STORE SPACES

Smith’s honored for energy efficiency

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Smith’s Food & Drug Stores, a division of Kroger Co., has been recognized by the Utah Association of Energy Users as a leader in conservation and energy-use efficiency, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

The chain, which received the “Outstanding Leadership in Energy Efficiency and Conservation” award on Wednesday at the 26th Annual Western States Energy Conference in Salt Lake City, was recognized for retrofitting its 132 stores in seven states with more efficient energy systems.

A recent energy-savings change converted frozen food cases from fluorescent lighting to LED lighting. Smith’s anticipates saving as much electricity as it takes to power 1,838 single-family homes in Utah for one year through that measure alone, it said in a statement.

The association is comprised of business executives who are interested in energy efficiency, policy and technical issues, as well as regulatory staff from western states, legislators and utility representatives. Members spend over $400 million annually on energy, and provide 40,000 technical jobs to Utahns.

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OPERATIONS

Amazon.com tops in online customer satisfaction

BY CSA STAFF

Ann Arbor, Mich. — Amazon.com was the top performer in a review of the Top 100 online retailers by ForeSee Results. The annual report, Top 100 E-Retail Satisfaction Index, includes individual satisfaction scores with the 100 top e-retailers for the past seven years, allowing for comparisons over time and between companies.

After six years of leading the Index, Netflix dropped two points to 85 and Amazon narrowly took the lead, remaining unchanged at 86, followed by Avon.com, QVC.com, and Newegg.com. Rounding out the Top 10 were BassPro.com (82); HSN.com (82), Shutterfly.com (82); Scholastiac.com (81); Vitacost.com (81); SwissColony.com (81) and LLBean.com (81).

The biggest gainers between 2010 and 2011 are Newegg, Shutterfly, Staples, Peapod, Lowes, Macys.com, and Hayneedle, up three points each.

In this year’s survey, nearly one-third of the rated e-retailers score 80 or higher (which is the threshold to be considered a top performer in the Index), up significantly from 2007 when only four websites were considered top performers. Moreover, not a single e-retailer scores below 70. Just two years ago, 15% of the Top 100 retailers scored 69 or lower.

“Over the last seven years, we’ve really seen an industry mature from a huge range of satisfaction scores to a relatively narrow range,” said Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee Results. “However, it’s important to remember that these scores are for only the Top 100 e-retailers, and a lot of smaller retailers still struggle with prioritizing the online customer experience.

The report can be downloaded at foreseeresults.com.

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