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.
La-Z-Boy names general counsel
MONROE, Mich. — La-Z-Boy announced that it has promoted R. Rand Tucker to the newly created position of VP and general counsel of the company, effective May 1, where he will be responsible for overseeing all of the company’s legal and environmental affairs.
Tucker joined La-Z-Boy in 2000 as corporate counsel, when La-Z-Boy acquired LADD Furniture. At LADD, he served as VP and general counsel. Prior to joining LADD, Tucker was a partner in the Charlotte office of Kilpatrick Stockton LLP.
Kurt Darrow, president and CEO of La-Z-Boy, said, "Rand has been an invaluable asset to our company over the past 11 years. In addition to having a wealth of experience in various legal and environmental issues, he understands our company, our industry and the legal obligations and ramifications of today’s business climate. With this appointment, the coordination of the company’s legal, compliance and environmental practices will be streamlined, allowing for enhanced communication in all areas going forward."
Hancock posts 4Q loss
BALDWYN, Miss. — Hancock Fabrics reported that net sales for its fourth quarterwere $78.4 million compared with $77.7 million in the fourth quarter last year, and comparable-same store sales increased 0.7%, compared with a 1.3% decrease in the previous year.
Operating income for the quarter was a loss of $8.4 million, a decrease of $11.7 million compared with a $3.3 million profit in the previous year’s fourth quarter.
Net sales for the year were $275.5 million compared with $274.1 million in the previous year, and comparable-store sales were flat over the last two years.
Operating income for the year was a loss of $5 million, a decrease of $12.7 million from the previous year.
Steven Morgan, interim president and CEO since February, commented, “We incurred significant one-time non-cash charges in the fourth quarter as we took actions to improve our business. The most significant charge was related to anticipated markdowns on aged products. These markdowns have been implemented, and will allow us the scope to liquidate these aged goods quicker as we move forward and ensure we have current, relevant merchandise for our customers. I am confident that we have identified, segregated, properly priced and positioned this product to provide a great value to our customers and to better position ourselves for new products in the remainder of the year.”
During the fiscal year, the company opened one store, closed one store, remodeled twelve stores, relocated seven existing stores and ended the year with 265 stores.