FINANCE

Whole Foods Market posts flat Q2 profit amid higher costs; cuts outlook

BY Marianne Wilson

Austin, Texas — Whole Foods Market on Tuesday reported a profit for its fiscal second quarter that fell short of Wall Street expectations. The grocery store operator also cut its outlook for the year.

For the quarter ended April 13, Whole Foods earned $142 million, unchanged from last year, amid higher expenses.

Revenue rose to $3.32 billion, short of the $3.34 billion Wall Street expected. Same-store sales rose 4.5%, hurt by the shift of Easter to the third quarter this year.

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SUPPLY CHAIN

Kroger switching to eco-friendly liquid natural gas in 40 trucks in Oregon

BY Marianne Wilson

Cincinnati — The Kroger Co. announced that it will be the first in Oregon to deploy a fleet of heavy-duty trucks that run on Liquid Natural Gas (LNG). The 40 trucks will replace 40 diesel trucks currently in use, and are expected to start making store deliveries in the Portland metropolitan area by the end of 2014.

The use of natural gas fuel not only reduces operating costs for vehicles, but also reduces greenhouse gas emissions up to 23% in medium- to heavy-duty vehicles.

"This is the first step in Kroger’s effort to transition our fleet to alternative fuels," said Kevin Dougherty, Kroger’s group VP and chief supply chain officer. "Converting to LNG trucks will allow us to reinvest savings into lower prices for our customers while also benefitting the environment."

The trucks will make deliveries to about 50 Fred Meyer and QFC stores as far south as Corvallis, Oregon, and as far north as Longview, Washington, averaging approximately 175 miles per day, six days a week, 52 weeks a year. They are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 755 metric tons per year, which equates to removing approximately 159 passenger cars from the road annually. The fleet will be fueled at a new, private LNG fueling station at Kroger’s Clackamas Distribution Center, which will be designed and engineered by Clean Energy Fuels Corp.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Google buys marketing analytics firm Adometry

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Google has purchased analytics firm Adometry, which helps advertisers get a better return on digital advertising by providing better attribution on the data collected about ads, including whether an ad was viewed, and whether it led to a sale.

Here is the statement from the Google Analytics team:

"Attribution solutions, like Adometry’s, help businesses better understand the influence that different marketing tools — digital, offline, email, and more — have along their customers’ paths to purchase. This heightened understanding, in turn, enables businesses to measure marketing impact, allocate their resources more wisely, and provide people with ads and messages that they’re likely to care about.”

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