At Kroger, Shoppers are Bananas for Loyalty

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Fun fact: Americans are just as likely to have bananas in their kitchen as a Kroger loyalty card in their wallets.

The $82 billion supermarket chain filed its annual proxy statement on May 13, and it includes several interesting figures regarding its loyalty card program. For instance: In markets where Kroger operates, nearly 85 percent of households hold a Kroger loyalty card and have shopped with the chain during the last year. About 85 percent of households also buy bananas.

Here are some other fun facts from the proxy:

• Approximately one-half of all U.S. households have a Kroger loyalty card

• Kroger operates more than 1,000 supermarket fuel centers, where consumers can redeem their rewards. It also operates more than 1,900 pharmacies

• In 2010, the number of Kroger “loyal households” continued to increase, as did the number of their store visits. Total households shopping at its stores also rose year over year.

• Kroger produced positive identical-store sales for 29 consecutive quarters, with 2010 sales up 2.8 percent.

Kroger will hold its annual meeting in Cincinnati on June 23. Among the proposals for vote is one, submitted by shareholders, asking the company to adopt a revised code of conduct for its suppliers and sub-contractors, based on the International Labor Organization’s guidelines for human rights standards.

The proposal stems from Kroger’s purchase of significant amounts of produce from third parties. Bananas were not mentioned, but tomatoes were.

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