Press Release

Kroger Promotes Stuart W. Aitken to Senior Vice President, Alternative Business

Key Promotion to Support Restock Kroger and Beyond

Company Release - 1/29/2019 4:17 PM ET

CINCINNATI, Jan. 29, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) today announced a key promotion in support of Restock Kroger and beyond with the appointment of Stuart W. Aitken to the newly-created role of Senior Vice President, Alternative Business, effective February 3, 2019.

The Kroger Co. Logo (PRNewsFoto/The Kroger Co.) (PRNewsFoto/The Kroger Co.)

In this role, Mr. Aitken will assume oversight for Kroger's successful existing alternative profit businesses, including 84.51° and Kroger Personal Finance (KPF), and also lead the development of a full portfolio of alternative businesses to support the transformation of Kroger's growth model. Mr. Aitken will continue to serve as chief executive officer of 84.51° and oversee Kroger's marketing function.

"Stuart is a dynamic leader with a proven track record of value creation in businesses that further monetize Kroger's successful core," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO. "Throughout his time at 84.51° and as a member of Kroger's senior leadership team, Stuart has been instrumental to the successful development and growth of the alternative profit stream portfolio. That portfolio makes the transformation of Kroger's growth model possible, by developing successful asset-light, margin rich businesses."

Mr. Aitken was elected Group Vice President in 2015 and has been responsible for leading Kroger's data analytics subsidiary, 84.51°, as its chief executive officer since its inception, also in 2015. In addition, Mr. Aitken has been helping transform Kroger's marketing efforts as chief marketing officer since 2017. Prior to this, he served as the chief executive officer of dunnhumbyUSA since 2010. Mr. Aitken has over 15 years of marketing, academic and technical experience across a variety of industries, and held various leadership roles with other companies, including Michael's Stores and Safeway, Inc.

Originally from Scotland, Mr. Aitken holds a BA with distinction and an MS in Information Management from Queen Margaret University and University of Strathclyde. He serves on the boards of InvenTrust Properties Corp. and the Food Marketing Institute. He is also a member of the Business Advisory Council for the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland - Cincinnati.

As outlined at Kroger's 2017 Investor Day, the company is transforming the traditional retail growth model through its Restock Kroger efforts. Kroger outlined on-going initiatives to redefine the grocery customer experience and strengthen the Kroger ecosystem by reducing costs and investing the savings in associates, technology, and price to grow units, traffic and share. At Kroger's 2018 Investor Day, Mr. Aitken delivered the company's vision for alternative profit streams, presenting the business case for leveraging stores, logistics and data assets to create incremental new profit streams, which, in turn, drive investments to further redefine the customer experience. In this way, Kroger's new growth model will be a virtuous cycle.

The company is actively driving this business model transformation while remaining committed to delivering on its 2020 Restock Kroger financial targets.

At The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), we are dedicated to our Purpose: to Feed the Human Spirit. We are nearly half a million associates who serve over nine million customers daily through a seamless digital shopping experience and 2,765 retail food stores under a variety of banner names, serving America through food inspiration and uplift, and creating #ZeroHungerZeroWaste communities by 2025. To learn more about us, visit our newsroom and investor relations site.

Kroger's ability to achieve its Restock Kroger financial commitments may be affected by Kroger's ability to manage labor negotiations or disputes; pricing and promotional activities of competitors; the state of the economy, including interest rates and inflationary and deflationary trends; changes in tariffs; natural disasters or adverse weather conditions; the success of Kroger's future growth plans; the ability to execute on Restock Kroger; and the successful integration of merged companies and new partnerships. Please see our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission for further information.

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