The Kroger Co. said Friday that its profit dipped slightly in the second quarter, as the nation’s largest traditional grocer faced higher expenses and an increased tax rate.
The Cincinnati-based company said a key sales figure rose during the period as its loyalty program helped attract shoppers. But merchandise costs – which includes advertising, warehouse and transportation expenses – also rose 4.3 percent. Like other supermarkets, Kroger has been paying more to stock its shelves as a result of rising commodity costs. The company has tried to offset the impact by introducing more store-brand items.
Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s president and chief operating officer, noted that the company is also working to improve the checkout wait time to an average about 30 seconds.