April 1, 2016

 

Kroger & Lucky’s Market Announce Strategic Partnership

 

Strategic partnership will benefit customers and accelerate growth in new and existing markets by combining Kroger’s scale and experience with Lucky’s best products, practices and techniques.

 

CINCINNATI, OH and BOULDER, CO — April 1, 2016 — The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR) announced a strategic partnership with Lucky’s Market, a specialty grocery store chain focused on natural, organic and locally-grown products. Kroger has made a meaningful investment in Lucky’s, which will significantly accelerate Lucky’s Market’s growth in new and existing markets. The financial terms of the transaction, which closed today, were not disclosed.

 

Founded in 2003 and based near Boulder, CO, Lucky’s Market and its affiliates employ more than 1,800 associates and operate 17 stores in 13 states throughout the Midwest and Southeast United States. Lucky’s “Organic for the 99%” store format emphasizes its expansive selection of natural and organic food, including fresh produce, meat and seafood, prepared foods and baked goods, as well as wine and beer and personal care goods. With stores averaging approximately 30,000 square feet, Lucky’s layout resembles an indoor farmers market, with “garage door” entrances, field bins, barrels and wooden crates. Its culinary department showcases great tasting, restaurant-quality prepared foods made from recipes that include those developed by CEO and former chef Bo Sharon and his wife Trish. Through its “L” private label, Lucky’s provides a broad range of grocery items at great value that have no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, and 10% of profits from its private label are reinvested in the communities it serves.

 

This strategic partnership is designed to further enhance the best products, practices and techniques Lucky’s Market has to offer. These strengths, combined with Kroger’s scale and experience, will in turn create benefits for customers and help Lucky’s Market grow over time. This alliance also demonstrates Kroger’s deep ongoing commitment to providing customers with affordable fresh organic and natural foods as a part of its Customer 1st strategy. Kroger’s affiliate Main & Vine also recently launched a community-focused grocery store concept in Gig Harbor, WA that mixes local, specialty and everyday products, all at affordable prices.

 

Sagent Advisors, LLC and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati acted as financial advisor and legal advisor, respectively, to Lucky’s Market. Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP acted as legal advisor to Kroger.

 

About Kroger Every day, the Kroger Family of Companies makes a difference in the lives of eight and a half million customers and 431,000 associates who shop or serve in 2,778 retail food stores under a variety of local banner names in 35 states and the District of Columbia. Kroger and its subsidiaries operate an expanding ClickList offering – a personalized, order online, pick up at the store service – in addition to our 2,231 pharmacies, 784 convenience stores, 323 fine jewelry stores, 1,387 supermarket fuel centers and 38 food production plants in the United States. Kroger is recognized as one of America’s most generous companies for its support of more than 100 Feeding America food bank partners, breast cancer research and awareness, the military and their families, and more than 145,000 community organizations including schools. A leader in supplier diversity, Kroger is a proud member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable.

 

About Lucky’s Market Lucky’s Market was started in 2003 by two chefs, Trish and Bo Sharon, when they bought a convenience store in Boulder, CO. The Sharons shared a vision of creating a grocery store chain where food lovers like themselves would want to shop, with organic, natural and local foods sold at affordable prices with genuine personal service. Today, those goals remain the hallmarks of the Lucky’s mission.

 

Forward-Looking Statements

 

This press release contains certain statements that constitute “forward-looking statements” about the future performance of Kroger. These statements are based on management’s assumptions and beliefs in light of the information currently available to it. These statements are indicated by words such as “will,” “expect,” “intend,” “guidance,” and similar words. Various uncertainties and other factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements. These include the specific risk factors identified in “Risk Factors” and “Outlook” in Kroger’s annual report on Form 10-K for the last fiscal year and any subsequent filings, as well as the following:

 

Kroger’s ability to achieve sales, earnings and cash flow goals may be affected by: labor negotiations or disputes; changes in the types and numbers of businesses that compete with Kroger; pricing and promotional activities of existing and new competitors, including non-traditional competitors, and the aggressiveness of that competition; Kroger’s response to these actions; the state of the economy, including interest rates, the inflationary and deflationary trends in certain commodities, and the unemployment rate; the effect that fuel costs have on consumer spending; volatility of fuel margins; changes in government-funded benefit programs; manufacturing commodity costs; diesel fuel costs related to Kroger’s logistics operations; trends in consumer spending; the extent to which Kroger’s customers exercise caution in their purchasing in response to economic conditions; the inconsistent pace of the economic recovery; changes in inflation or deflation in product and operating costs; stock repurchases; Kroger’s ability to retain pharmacy sales from third party payors; consolidation in the healthcare industry, including pharmacy benefit managers; Kroger’s ability to negotiate modifications to multi-employer pension plans; natural disasters or adverse weather conditions; the potential costs and risks associated with potential cyber-attacks or data security breaches; the success of Kroger’s future growth plans; and the successful integration of Harris Teeter and Roundy’s. Kroger’s ability to achieve sales and earnings goals may also be affected by Kroger’s ability to manage the factors identified above. Kroger’s ability to execute its financial strategy may be affected by its ability to generate cash flow.

Kroger assumes no obligation to update the information contained herein. Please refer to Kroger’s reports and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a further discussion of these risks and uncertainties.

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Media Contacts:

Kroger, Keith Dailey, 513-762-1304 or Jessica Adelman 513-762-1591 Lucky’s, Ben Friedland 303-530-0782 ext. 137

Investor Contacts: Kroger, Kate Ward, 513-762-4969