When I was a kid in Louisiana, the nearest grocery store was Kroger. I had sort of forgotten about them (it’s been a long time), but I was impressed to see their chart (symbol KR) which is very bullish.
But this isn’t about the chart, really. I clicked on the company’s name to bring up the Summary dialog box, since I was curious what their P/E was. Remember, this is a grocery store, which is super-low-growth and has razor-thin margins, so in more sane times, the P/E might be about 5. These days, it’s 21.8, which – – again, back in saner times – – was the kind of P/E one would pay for a young, high-growth upstart.
Then the company’s description caught my eye. I would have figured the description would have been ‘We sell freakin’ groceries. What do you expect? Now get lost!” but it wasn’t. Take a deep breath and look at this…………
As the young folks say these days, there’s a lot to unpack here. Let’s just ignore speculating on how much money, and how many corporate offsites, went into creating that virtue-laden, self-congratulatory word salad and, in order of appearance, examine a few of its highlights, because they are a study:
- Fresh for Everyone ™ – as opposed to what? White people get fresh produce and black people don’t? (Which reminds me of one of the funniest bits ever – Chris Rock’s Black Mall routine). On, and thanks for trademarking it.
- dedicated to its Purpose -and this sets you apart how? Doesn’t any purpose demand dedication?
- To Feed the Human Spirit – I thought it was the human stomach. If I’m feeling like a rasher of bacon, Kroger will be just right. If I’m having an existential crisis, it’s not going to cut it.
- Family of companies -Kindly note the use of warm and fuzzy nouns. Family. Not a vertical supply chain corporation. A family.
- “associates” -Again, warm and fuzzy. Not goddamned cashier. Not the freakin’ guy who restocks the celery. Not the lady who has to mop around the toilet. Associates. Like in a law firm.
- seamless shopping experience – What a welcome change from the days in which I walk into a Whole Food and have to can my own peaches on the spot!
- variety of banner names – Are you talking about the cheap in-house brands? The ones that, back in the day, inexplicably were printed with black and yellow labels?
- committed -There we go again with the sunshine words.
- #ZeroHungerZeroWaste – Aieeeeee! A hashtag! I have been actively online since 1982, and I think to this day I’ve never used a hashtag non-ironically. #stupid #onlyfordouches
- communities – I am reminded of my own personal definition of the word “community” which is: “a neighborhood so shitty that you would not want to live there.”