The short interest in the largest traditional grocery chain Kroger (KR) has reached an all-time high and is projected to keep rising, according to analytics firm S3 Analytics.

"Bearish bets against the company continue to increase and currently stand at an all-time high when measured on both a notional and share basis," S3 noted.

The real-time dollars betting on the short side is presently at $1.43 billion, with 66.4 million shares being sold short. That represents a 151% increase and 301% increase respectively, since the start of 2017 when $571 million and 16.5 million shares were shorted, the firm found.

But in the last two weeks alone, S3 projects that the short interest in Kroger rose 9%. Shares of Kroger are lower just over 3.3% in that timeframe.

"During the past 8 1/2 months, Short Sellers would have seen Total Profitability on their trades, of $289 million (a 40.5% return)," S3 noted.

The total short interest in the food retail space is currently at $3.5 billion and has jumped $135 million in the past month alone.

Shares of Kroger closed lower over half a percent to $21.44 per share on Monday.

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