Growth Spurs Extensive Hiring at The Kroger Co. of Michigan

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    Grocer will hire 2,000 associates during next 18 months

    On a corporate level, Kroger invested more than $380 million in capital improvements within the state of Michigan during the past five years and plans to continue its pattern of aggressive growth. The Kroger Co. of Michigan will invest $110 million within the state during 2013 and will hire 2,000 new associates in the next 18 months to meet expanding needs.

    During its annual meeting of shareholders last week, Kroger Chairman and Chief Executive Officer David B. Dillon credited dedicated associates and the company’s Customer First strategy with spurring Kroger’s continuing growth. In 2012, Kroger’s total sales increased to $96.8 billion or 7.1 percent compared with the prior fiscal year. This performance resulted in an industry-leading 38 consecutive quarters of positive identical sales growth.

    “Kroger’s performance is the result of our associates’ hard work and commitment to making each day better for our customers,” said Jayne Homco, president of The Kroger Co. of Michigan. “Our unique value offering of better service, great products, an enjoyable shopping experience and low prices continues to resonate with a full range of shoppers.”

    Kroger’s capital investments—excluding acquisitions and purchases of leased facilities—totaled $2 billion on a national level during 2012.

    “Our customers have come to expect a high level of service and we must have the work- force in place to continue to meet their specific needs,” Homco said. “New associates will work for the largest traditional grocery retailer in the United States, with more than 17,000 associates here in Michigan. Our associates also enjoy the sense of permanency inherent to a company that has been in business 130 years.”

    Associate positions

    About 90 percent of the new Kroger positions are part-time and include jobs in each department within Michigan Kroger stores. All hourly associates are hired as part-time per The Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA), although individuals have the opportunity to work into full-time jobs.

    “Kroger has historically hired many part-time associates, including high school and college students, mothers and senior citizens,” Homco said. “One of the benefits of working at Kroger is our extremely flexible hours, which provide associates the opportunity to plan around school or children’s schedules.”

    She added that Kroger will also hire 85 or more full-time salaried store management associates during the next 18 months.

    Benefits and wages

    Kroger offers associates highly competitive wages plus an attractive benefits package, including healthcare options. The grocer also offers in-store discounts, price breaks on products and programs available outside of Kroger, training opportunities and contests.

    According to Homco, the opportunity to grow professionally attracts many prospective associates to Kroger, with the grocer recognized for its commitment to promote from within the company. Many members of Kroger’s management team—including Homco—started with the company in entry level positions, such as baggers.

    Chris Brown, retail operations manager for the Michigan Division, began as a part-time cashier in Okemos, Michigan.

    “When I hired in, I had no plans of making Kroger my career choice,” Brown said. “But I was fortunate that my store manager saw my potential and encouraged me to do more with Kroger by entering the management training program once I graduated from college.”

    Brown has held numerous other positions with Kroger during his career, including store manager; assistant operations manager for the Michigan Division; corporate manager, retail operations at Kroger’s general office in Cincinnati; and Michigan Division District Manager.

    “I would absolutely recommend Kroger as a place to work—whether individuals are interested in full- or part-time employment,” Brown said. “The people at all levels of our organization have proven to be extremely caring and open to helping associates succeed. Kroger is truly a company that is passionate about its people.”

    Continued Growth

    Nationally, Kroger plans to build, expand or relocate 45 to 50 supermarkets compared to 44 in 2012. In Michigan, Kroger will remodel, expand or open a number of stores over the next two years, including a new 88,000-square-foot store in Commerce in November and a 114,000-square-foot store in Hayes Twp. in January, 2014.

    “We will need trained and enthusiastic associates to work at and provide support for these locations, which is why we are expanding our workforce so significantly within the next year-and-a-half,” Homco said.

    Employment opportunities with The Kroger Co. of Michigan are posted on http://www.kroger.com and http://www.careerbuilder.com. A number of Kroger stores offer kiosks where prospective associates can access employment details.

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