Talk about putting on a brave face.
Kroger (kr, +0.71%) Chief Executive Rodney McMullen on Tuesday downplayed the potential risk to his grocery chain by Amazon.com’s (amzn, -1.73%) upcoming $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods Market. (wfm, -0.30%) Kroger is the second largest U.S. grocer after Walmart. (wmt, +0.68%)
Mullen, whose company’s shares have taken a plunge since the mega deal was announced 11 days ago, said Kroger would continue to work on building up its market presence, pursuing business as usual.
“We do really focus on the long term. The long term is three to five years. We continue to grow market share. Our customers continue to tell us were doing a better job,” McMullen said in an interview with CNBC.
His sanguine approach stands in contrast to the anxiety of investors, who’ve sent Kroger shares down 32% this year on fears that the Amazon-Whole Foods tie-up, as well as a brewing price war between Walmart and others will pinch sales and profit.
Still, Mullen suggested in the interview that the Amazon deal…