Kroger’s Strategy To Win In A Post-COVID World, Fresh & Digital

Kroger has revealed its strategy to boost shareholder returns in 2021 and beyond. The company plans to focus on fresh and making online and in-store grocery orders more profitable. The move comes after Kroger anticipated that e-commerce, cooking at home, and prepared meals to go will continue to propel sales beyond the pandemic.

During Kroger’s virtual 2021 Investor Day, the retailer provided an update on its strategic initiatives and how it plans to deliver a strong and sustainable total shareholder return of 8% – 11%.

“Kroger continues to deliver for customers through our seamless ecosystem and relentless focus on freshness, value and convenience,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO. “Building upon the foundation established by our Restock Kroger transformation, and leveraging key learnings from operating during the pandemic, our strategy of Leading With Fresh and Accelerating With Digital is designed to convert our industry’s near-term tailwinds into long-term competitive advantages.

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“Today, Kroger is uniquely positioned because of the strength of our assets and our competitive moats cultivated over several years of disciplined investment and focused execution. Our go-forward strategy builds on these strengths to drive share growth, increase profitability across digital, and deliver strong and sustainable total shareholder returns. Our talented and energized team is already delivering on our objectives, and we look forward to continuing to position Kroger to win in a post-COVID world.”

The three core elements of Kroger’s strategy and initiative include:

  • Grow sales and share by leading with fresh food;
  • Increase profitability by accelerating with digital, which is now a growth engine; and
  • Widen and deepen the competitive moats that will generate customer loyalty and market share gains – Seamless, Personalization, Fresh, and Our Brands.

Kroger’s leadership team will outline key growth opportunities that will drive the financial model forward including a clear path to deliver total shareholder return between 8% – 11%, through net earnings growth of 3% – 5% and strong and growing free cash flow to invest in growth initiatives and return cash to shareholders.

“Kroger is delivering on its value creation model, and over the period of 2019 to 2021, we expect to significantly exceed our total shareholder return target,” said Gary Millerchip, Kroger’s CFO. “The strength of our execution, combined with our strategic plans to continue to lead in fresh, accelerate digital, and grow alternative profit streams will enable us to achieve our 2021 guidance and deliver profitable growth beyond 2021.” 

For more on Kroger’s strategy, click here.