Kroger to grow its employee base
Kroger is in the middle of a hiring blitz.
The company is looking to fill 11,000 positions in its supermarket division, including almost 2,000 management jobs. Kroger said it created 10,000 new jobs in 2017 and 12,000 in 2016, not including jobs created as a result of capital investment, such as temporary construction jobs, or increases as a result of the company’s mergers.
In addition, Kroger is investing an incremental $500 million in associate wages, training and development during the next three years. The company noted that last month in Cincinnati, Kroger associates ratified a labor agreement with the UFCW 75 that set the stage for starting wage and overall wage increases in multiple markets across the country. The agreement raised starting wages to at least $10 per hour, and accelerated wage progressions to $11 an hour after one year of service, for associates in the Cincinnati/Dayton division.
As previously announced, Kroger has also committed to invest a significant portion of the tax benefit it received from the recent tax act in its employees’ future. The company plans to announce the details of the program this month.
Digital Disruption Innovation Summit offers Walgreens online strategy suggestions
More than 150 manufacturers joined more than five dozen Walgreens executives and buyers at the Digital Disruption Innovation Summit in Schaumburg, Ill. to discuss opportunities to help the drug store chain continue to build its online digital business.
The executives met at the one-day conference, presented by Drug Store News and Mack Elevation, to learn more about what is happening in the digital arena and to develop approaches together to help build sales in that space, while still maintaining a strong brick-and-mortar approach.
“This is not a moment to panic, but it is a moment to be prepared,” said Joe Hartsig, senior vice president and chief merchandising officer for Walgreens as he discussed the company’s digital strategies. “We are doing a lot of work in this arena and we are running fast. But we are also humbled because we know we can do so much more.”
DSN publisher Eric Savitch added: “It is an honor for DSN to be involved, along with Dan Mack and Mack Elevation, to bring these suppliers together with key Walgreens officials. We are proud to be the conduit that helps all these players learn more about each other and what they can do to help build digital sales today and in the future.”
ECRM to facilitate Wakefern’s store-brand supplier search
Wakefern Food is reaching out to private-label suppliers with ECRM’s help with an upcoming event. The Keasbey, N.J.-based retailer-owned cooperative will be meeting with potential suppliers its Store Brand Sourcing Program, which will be held at the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center in Edision, N.J, on May 17.
ECRM will be facilitating the 20-minute meetings between potential vendors and buyers from Wakefern, whose members independently own and operate such banners as ShopRite, Price Rite Marketplace, the Fresh Grocer and Dearborn Market. ECRM also will be handling all inbound product submissions for the event, the companies said.
Through the event, Wakefern said it is seeking suppliers for store-brand products in its grocery, frozen, dairy, meat, produce, beverages, food service, bakery, seafood, deli, non-foods and health and beauty care sections.
“Wakefern is looking forward to working with ECRM to find exciting new suppliers and products for our stores,” Wakefern vice president of grocer Parag Shah said. “We continue to grow our existing private label portfolio with innovative and award-winning new brands such as Wholesome Pantry, and believe this summit will bring us exciting new opportunities.”
Interested private-label suppliers and manufacturers can submit their product information using RangeMe through April 13. ECRM will select and email details of meetings to companies, which will be subject to a $500 participation fee.
“We are excited to be working with Wakefern in their quest to enhance their own brand assortment and find the appropriate supplier capabilities to grow sales and enhance value for their shoppers,” ECRM senior vice president Wayne Bennett said.