The company, which also operates Fry's, Food 4 Less and Ralphs, has been working to improve the shopping experience and build customer loyalty as it fends off competition from specialty grocers such as Whole Foods and big-box retailers such as Target, as well as dollar stores and drugstore chains.
As shopping habits change, the Cincinnati-based company has also been experimenting with new formats such as its larger "Marketplace" stores that have a bigger footprint and sell general merchandise in addition to groceries. It has also opened about a dozen smaller "Ruler" stores that focus primarily on cheaper, private-label products.
By The Associated Press(equals)The Dow Jones industrial average rose 36.71 points to close at 13,021.82. The Standard & Poor's 500 rose 6.02 points to 1,415.95. The Nasdaq composite index gained 20.25 points to 3,012.03. Benchmark crude rose $1.58 to close at $88.07. Brent crude, which is used to price international varieties of oil, rose $1.25 to $110.76 per barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange in London. Heating oil rose 3.3 cents to $3.04 a gallon. Natural gas fell 15.3 cents to $3.65 per 1,000 cubic feet. Wholesale gasoline gained 5.3 cents to $2.79 a gallon
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