NEW YORK — Kroger reported a better-than-expected profit for its fourth quarter Thursday as the nation's largest supermarket operator saw a key sales figure rise.
The Cincinnati-based company, which also operates Ralphs and Fry's, has fared better than its peers in adapting to a shifting supermarket landscape that is facing intensifying competition. In particular, people are getting their groceries from a wider variety of places, including big-box retailers such as Target, specialty chains such as Whole Foods, drugstores and dollar stores.
To keep pace, Kroger has adapted its store formats, developing both larger and smaller locations to compete in different segments of the market. It's also trying to improve the in-store experience, whether it's by expanding specialty food sections or shortening wait times at check-out.
For the period ending Feb. 1, Kroger Co. said sales at established locations rose 4.3 percent, excluding fuel.