Cincinnati-based Kroger Co. shook off two straight quarters of negative same store sale as it reported second quarter earnings Sept. 8, but investors weren’t happy with profits down 8% from the previous year.

The company’s stock dropped 10% in the hours after the earnings report to a 52-week low of $20.41 per share.

Executives remained positive about the company’s strategy, touting digital revenues up 162%, driven by its digital grocery ClickList.

“Through innovation, Kroger is redefining the food and grocery customer experience based on our core strengths,” said chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen, during the call. “Our second quarter results demonstrate the progress we’ve made. We returned to positive identical supermarket sales growth in the second quarter. Traffic is up, unit movement is up, market share is up and our customers’ price perception is excellent and continues to improve.”

Same store sales were up 0.7%, slightly higher than the 0.4% estimates and total sales increased 3.9% to $27.6 billion in the second quarter.  

The company also is expanding its Prep + Pared meal kits to more Ohio markets, and plans to open a new restaurant concept, Kitchen 1883, in a Union, Ky., store.

The restaurant, built one of the company’s Marketplace stores, is a “fresh new take on American comfort food,” and is expected to open in October, according to local media reports.


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