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    Kroger Rises to the Top of 2016 Kantar Retailer PoweRanking

    Company virtually ties with Walmart for the first time in 20 years.

    NORWALK, Conn. — The Kroger Co. was named the No. 1 retailer, tied with Walmart, on the 2016 Kantar Retailer PoweRanking list. This marks the first time in 20 years that Kroger has reached the top of the annual list, which is determined by participating manufacturers.

    The list is designed to identify the manufacturers and retailers viewed as best-in-class by their major trading partners and to provide insight into what distinguishes them across key areas of the manufacturer-retailer business relationship.

    Kroger also ranked first in the "best retailer to do business with," "best practice category leadership," "best buying teams" and "most innovative merchandising" categories. The company's ability to innovate and maximize the shopper experience by applying insights derived from both suppliers and its own shopper insights firm was a major factor in its performance, according to Kantar.

    "Kroger has developed strong collaboration and partnership with manufacturers, and they continue to deliver strong business results," said one participating manufacturer.

    "We deeply value our CPG and manufacturing partners' commitment to our Customer 1st Strategy," stated Mike Donnelly, Kroger's executive vice president of merchandising. "We are excited about our ability to drive innovation for customers using data-driven insights from both our suppliers and our customer insights firm, 84.51°."

    The Kroger family of companies operates 2,781 retail food stores under a variety of local banner names in 35 states and the District of Columbia. This includes 2,240 pharmacies, 785 convenience stores, 323 fine jewelry stores, 1,423 supermarket fuel centers, and 38 food production plants in the United States. Kroger and its subsidiaries also operate an expanding ClickList offering — a personalized, order-online, pick-up-at-the-store service.

    Walmart virtually tied with Kroger for highest overall composite score at 47.3 percent, a tenth of a point ahead of Kroger, and did particularly well in the areas of clear strategy and supply chain management.

    "Perhaps the quote that best summarized 2015 was, 'Never before has so much change produced so little value for the industry.' As we entered the 2016 calendar year, many of the same trends of 2015 continued, all of which reinforce the idea that we are in an era of permanent transition and change," said Daniel Raynak, Kantar Retail's executive vice president, strategy and development. "However, those organizations that have embraced the change in 2016 and took swift actions against big, relevant opportunities are beginning to see the return on the changes they have implemented."

    The U.S. PoweRanking Executive Summary is available here.

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