FINANCE

Kroger Q2 profit slips, but tops expectations

BY Marianne Wilson

Cincinnati — The Kroger Co. reported a better-than-expected second quarter profit of $279.1 million, down from $280.8 million a year ago. The supermarket company raised its forecast for the full year, buoyed by its strong loyalty program and its ability to keep costs in line.

Revenue, including fuel, rose 3.9% to $21.73 billion.

"We are pleased with Kroger’s strong performance in the second quarter," said David B. Dillon, Kroger’s chairman and CEO. "Increased customer loyalty and solid cost controls allowed us to grow sales, profitability, and shareholder value."

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OPERATIONS

Hot Topic on hunt for new chief store officer

BY Staff Writer

City of Industry, Calif. — Hot Topic announced that Jerry Cook has resigned as chief store officer, effective February 28, 2013. He is leaving the company to relocate his family to Texas, and will pursue other professional opportunities.

We are thankful to Jerry for his dedicated service to the company over the years, and he will be missed,” said Lisa Harper, chairman and CEO of Hot Topic, Inc. “We wish Jerry and his family much success, and are grateful he has given us plenty of time to identify a successor and ensure a smooth transition.”

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OPERATIONS

Walgreens launches loyalty program with online sweepstakes

BY Staff Writer

Deerfield, Ill. — Walgreens said that customers can begin online enrollment into its new customer loyalty program, Balance Rewards. Customers who join online before the official program launch on Sept. 16 will have a chance to enter the chain’s 10 Million Point Giveaway sweepstakes.

“We are initially opening enrollment in one of the most important programs in Walgreens history through online and mobile technology as a testament to the company’s legacy of innovation,” said Graham Atkinson, Walgreens senior VP and chief experience officer.

During the online enrollment period, Sept. 6 – Sept. 15, customers who join Balance Rewards will have a chance to enter into the sweepstakes. Customers can earn additional entries into the sweepstakes by referring friends and family to the program.

A key component to the online enrollment period is the release of the new Balance Rewards mobile card as part of the Walgreens mobile app.

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