Kroger promotes two finance executives
CINCINNATI — Kroger on Wednesday announced the appointment of Cindy Holmes to director of investor relations and Carin Fike to director and assistant treasurer. Both changes will be effective March 6.
Fike will report to Kroger’s treasurer, Scott Henderson; Holmes will report to Kroger’s CFO, Michael Schlotman.
Holmes, 42, began her career with Kroger in 1990 in the information systems and services department, and for the past 10 years, she has served as the company’s assistant treasurer.
Fike, 42, began her career with Kroger in 1999, and has served as the company’s director of investor relations since 2003. She was recently named the best investor relations officer in the grocery and retail drug industry by both the buy side and sell side in the 2010 Institutional Investor magazine rankings.
Consumer confidence at a three-year high
NEW YORK — The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index reached 70.4 in February, a three-year high from February 2008, thanks to growing optimism about the short-term future.
Consumers’ assessment of present-day conditions improved moderately in February, with 12.4% of consumers stating business conditions are "good" (up from 11.3%), while those claiming business conditions are "bad" was unchanged at 39.6%. Looking ahead, more consumers (0.4%) said they expect business conditions to improve over the next six months, while those anticipating business conditions will worsen declined to 10.4% from 12.2%.
The outlook on the job market, however, was mixed, with less consumers expecting more jobs in the near future (19.8% from 20.8% in January), although those anticipating fewer jobs decreased to 15.4% from 21.2%.
"The Consumer Confidence Index is now at a three-year high (February 2008, 76.4) due to growing optimism about the short-term future," noted Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board Consumer Research Center. "Consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions has improved moderately, but still remains rather weak. Looking ahead, consumers are more positive about the economy and their income prospects, but feel somewhat mixed about employment conditions."
Wegmans commits to maintaining prices amid rising food costs
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Escalating food costs may have a firm grip on consumers’ wallets, but one retailer is promising "to keep prices low and [its] quality and service high."
Wegmans this week said that it will not change the prices on 40 of the products most important to families through the end of 2011. According to the company’s website, many of the items listed include store-brand products and produce. Wegmans also noted that, counting different varieties and sizes, about 200 items are covered by the company’s price pledge.
"We hope this — plus more low prices and great Wegmans-brand items throughout the store — will help you and your family make great meals easy, healthy and affordable," the company said.