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    Kroger Salutes Minority-Owned and Women-Owned Vendors

    CINCINNATI -- The Kroger Co. yesterday said it honored 81 outstanding minority-owned and women-owned vendors for 2004, as part of its supplier diversity program.

    CINCINNATI -- The Kroger Co. yesterday said it honored 81 outstanding minority-owned and women-owned vendors for 2004, as part of its supplier diversity program.

    It was the second time the chain has bestowed awards to minority-owned and women-owned business enterprises (or M/WBEs), for excelling in areas including quality of product or service, innovation, presentation of new ideas, performance, and sales volume. Kroger's corporate and division buyers and merchandisers nominated the vendors. In 2004, Kroger spent approximately $780 million with M/WBEs.

    The firms being recognized this years include both vendors that provide consumer products and those that supply not-for-resale products and services.

    "Supplier diversity plays an integral role in Kroger's strategy," said Don McGeorge, Kroger president and c.e.o. "Our goal is to be sure that Kroger's suppliers reflect the broad diversity of the customers and marketplaces we serve."

    Established more than 25 years ago, Kroger's supplier diversity program helps M/WBEs analyze their business capabilities to determine whether their products or services fit within Kroger's corporate strategies and the market as a whole.

    More information about the 81 honored vendors can be found on Kroger's Web site, at: http://www.kroger.com/supplierdiversity.htm.

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