Report: Kroger considering acquisitions
Cincinnati Kroger Co. is interested in expanding, but not by buying struggling competitors, according to the Associated Press.
The report said that CEO David B. Dillon sees “plenty of growth opportunities” and has been considering acquisitions. However, the company is steering away from businesses that are marked down because they fell behind as the recession battered industry profits.
“We look at lots of things, but we’re not interested in becoming someone’s turnaround artist,” Dillon said in the interview with the Associated Press after the annual shareholders meeting. “We run good stores and are good at running good stores, and we don’t want to buy somebody else’s problem.”
Dillon said Kroger is most likely to add stores in or near its current markets in 31 states.
The company owns Ralphs, Dillons, QFC and other chains, along with Kroger.
“We’re very highly selective,” Dillon said. “Generally the ones we’ve looked at more often are the ones in our existing markets and adjacent markets.”
Kroger reported last week that profits fell 14% in the first quarter, while sales rose 9%. Dillon told shareholders Kroger has been increasing market share and its based of loyal customers and fared better than most competitors during the recession.
Target promotes volunteerism with exclusive Ben & Jerry’s flavors
MINNEAPOLIS Target announced that it will debut two new, exclusive Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavors at all stores nationwide. The super premium ice cream flavors, Berry Voluntary and Brownie Chew Gooder, will be available throughout 2010 in mini cups and pints, according to the company.
Berry Voluntary is raspberry cheesecake flavored ice cream laced with white chocolate chunks and raspberry swirls. Brownie Chew Gooder is vanilla caramel ice cream with fudge brownie pieces, finished with a caramel swirl. Mini cups will be available for $1.25* and pints will be priced at $3.50.
“By partnering with the iconic and beloved Ben & Jerry’s, Target is offering our guests even more exclusive, high-quality food options,” said Greg Duppler, SVP merchandising, Target. “Target guests who purchase these new ice cream products will not only enjoy two delicious flavors at an exceptional price, but will also have the satisfaction of supporting two great brands, aligned in their strong heritage of philanthropy and volunteerism.”
Target customers can enjoy the new flavors and do good at the same time. According to the company, customers who register for a volunteer activity at www.VolunteerMatch.org/scoopitforward and forward the opportunity to five friends, will receive a coupon for a free pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, redeemable at Target stores, while supplies last. After that time, guests will still be able to participate in the “Scoop It Forward” promotion, and will receive a $1 off coupon in recognition of their volunteer efforts.
NPD: Appliance sales showing strength
PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. According to The NPD Group, sales of major appliances generated double-digit dollar and unit growth of 16% and 12% respectively, from January to May 2010, versus January to May 2009.
“Beginning last August we began to see signs of a recovery for appliances, but the new year confirmed that we’re truly on a growth trajectory – pent-up demand started it, but now we’re seeing results driven by consumer confidence and rebate programs augmented by strong retailer promotions,” said Mark Delaney, director of The NPD Group’s home division.
Most major appliance categories are seeing a boost in sales, but the largest overall increases came from dishwashers, refrigerators, clothes dryers, and washing machines, each with double-digit growth in units and dollars, compared with the first five months of 2009, according to the report.
“It’s encouraging to see such positive results in a sector that’s been struggling for so long. If retailers and manufacturers execute well with their new product offerings and we see sustained improvements in the housing sector, the major appliance industry is poised for a solid year,” ended Delaney.