The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR) Q1 2019 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

Jun 20, 2019 • 10:00 am ET

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The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR) Q1 2019 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Operator

Good morning, and welcome to The Kroger Company First Quarter 2019 Earnings Conference Call. All participants will be in listen-only mode. (Operator Instructions) After today's presentation, there will be an opportunity to ask questions. (Operator Instructions) Please note, this event is being recorded.

I would now like to turn the conference over to Rebekah Manis, Director, Investor Relations. Please go ahead.

Executive
Rebekah Manis

Thank you, Gary. Good morning, and thank you for joining us. Before we begin, I want to remind you that today's discussions will include forward-looking statements. We want to caution you that such statements are predictions and actual events or results can differ materially. A detailed discussion of the many factors that we believe may have a material effect on our business on an ongoing basis is contained in our SEC filings. The Kroger assumes no obligation to update that information. Both our first quarter press release and our prepared remarks from this conference call will be available on our website at ir.kroger.com.

After our prepared remarks, we look forward to taking your questions. In order to cover a broad range of topics from as many of you as we can, we ask that you please limit yourself to one question and one follow-up question if necessary. Thank you.

I will now turn the call over to Kroger's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Rodney McMullen.

Executive
W. Rodney McMullen

Thank you, Rebekah, and good morning, everyone. And thank you for joining us.

With me to review Kroger's first quarter 2019 result is Chief Financial Officer, Gary Millerchip. We started the conversation with you last quarter by acknowledging that we had our work cut out for us. We are energized by that challenge, and our team brought that energy to the first quarter. There are several examples in the first quarter results that reflect the disciplined focus and progress we are making on our transformation plan Restock Kroger.

All of this work starts with our customer obsession focus. That is why we are building an omnichannel platform to serve customers with anything, anytime, anywhere. That is why we're focused on redefining the experience grocery customers can expect to have in our stores and online, improved upon by existing -- exciting partnerships that create additional value.

That said, while the second year of Restock Kroger is off to a solid start, we know we can do better when it comes to our identical sales results. To that end, it's important I say it right upfront, that by further intensifying our customer focus, Kroger's quarter-to-date identical sales are trending better than the first quarter and moving toward the guidance range.

One of our most powerful competitive advantage is also one of our best ongoing performers. Kroger's own brand products grew 3.3%, and unit share gained 66 basis points to reach 28.9% share in the quarter. The focus on shifting the mix to Simple Truth and premium brands such as Private Selection led to double-digit gains in the quarter in those brands.

We know that our customers love