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    Kroger Launches Retail ID Theft Service

    CINCINNATI -- The Kroger Co. here and a Connecticut marketing firm are teaming up to offer identity theft protection services in more than 200 of the chain's stores in the Houston and Dallas metropolitan areas.

    CINCINNATI -- The Kroger Co. here and a Connecticut marketing firm are teaming up to offer identity theft protection services in more than 200 of the chain's stores in the Houston and Dallas metropolitan areas.

    Through a partnership with Affinion Group, Kroger is launching a service called PrivacyWatch, which offers daily monitoring, identity fraud support and insurance. Information and enrollment forms will be available in the stores' checkout lanes as well as on-line in the "What's New" page on Kroger's website. Other services provided by PrivacyWatch include online neighborhood reports (home values, crime rates, local school information and more), access to drivers' records, Medical Information Bureau monitoring and a detailed Social Security report.

    PrivacyWatch also includes financial tools such as a "What-If" simulator to help customers manage their credit scores; auto, mortgage and loan calculators; and other online tools that help customers balance and determine monthly payments.

    "We understand that our customers are concerned about the possibility of identity theft," said Bill Breetz, president of Kroger's Southwest Division. "Kroger is very pleased to offer this innovative and valuable service to our customers."

    At the end of fiscal 2005, Kroger operated (either directly or through its subsidiaries) 2,507 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 31 states.

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