NEW YORK — Kroger Co. stuck to making investments in service even as sales slowed and profits fell last year, Michael Schlotman, the company's chief financial officer, told attendees at the Barclays Capital Retail and Restaurant Conference here last week. Schlotman said the commitment to providing extra sales help at peak shopping hours — a key driver of customer satisfaction, according to company surveys — illustrates the long-term perspective of the strategic initiatives at Kroger. ...

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