CINCINNATI — The Kroger Co. said Wednesday it has answered a Securities and Exchange Commission query about how the supermarket operator accounts for payments from vendors for sales promotions or better product placement.

Kroger said no changes to its filings with the SEC were required. The Cincinnati-based company operates about 2,500 supermarkets and multidepartment stores in 32 states, including Utah.

Kroger has said it was among many major retailers that adopted a bookkeeping change effective Jan. 1, 2003, to account for the payments from vendors.

Kroger said in its 2002 annual report anticipating the change that net earnings would not be affected.

Kroger officials said the SEC's review covered Kroger's 2001 Form 10-K filing and its Forms 10-Q from the second and third quarters of fiscal 2002.

The SEC has made similar queries of other retailers, but the agency did not say why it asked for the information.

A Kroger competitor, Albertsons Inc. in Boise, said that a letter from the SEC said it was "conducting an informal inquiry concerning how certain retailers treat allowances they received from their vendors."