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    Kroger to Receive Gift Cards from Blackhawk

    The company's convenience stores will stock the Gift Card Malls in late 2008.

    CINCINNATI -- The Kroger Co., which operates more than 2,491 supermarkets and multi-department stores, and approximately 780 convenience stores, selected card-based financial solution provider Blackhawk Network to bring its Gift Card Mall program to its stores.

    "We are delighted to bring Blackhawk Network's Gift Card Mall which carries more than 100 best in class retail branded gift cards to Kroger's nearly 2,500 stores across the country," Don Kingsborough, president and chief executive officer of Blackhawk Network, said in a statement. "With the addition of Kroger to our list of distinguished retail partners, Blackhawk Network's Gift Card Malls will now be conveniently located in grocery stores that represent 90 percent of the top supermarket sales volume in the United States."

    The retailer's grocery stores, which do business across 31 states under the Kroger, Kroger Marketplace, Ralphs, Fred Meyer, Food 4 Less and Dillons banners -- will receive the gift card programs in time for the holiday season, Blackhawk stated. For Kroger's 780 convenience locations, Blackhawk Network's gift cards will appear in stores during late 2008, according to the company.

    Kroger plans to support the Gift Card Mall launch with an aggressive marketing campaign, including television, radio and in-store promotions, the company stated. The gift cards will be displayed on end caps and at check stands.

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