Kroger’s McMullen Garners Innovation Leadership Award

Bridget Goldschmidt
Managing Editor
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Kroger’s McMullen Garners Innovation Leadership Award
As one of the winners of the 2020 Innovation Leadership Awards for his company's actions in relation to COVID-19, Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen will be honored in a Nov. 17 virtual ceremony.

Rodney McMullen, CEO of The Kroger Co., is one of the recipients of the 2020 Innovation Leadership Awards. The recognition, presented by the World Retail Forum, honors “companies which practiced ‘learning together, to recover stronger’ from COVID-19.

“At the outset of the pandemic, Kroger faced two competing imperatives: first, to keep its stores open so that its customers could be fed, and second, to keep those customers and its employees safe from the spreading coronavirus,” the Westfield, New Jersey-based forum noted. “To find a way forward, the company created in February a special task force to monitor the impact of the pandemic and to create a response, which became ‘Sharing What We’ve Learned: A Blueprint for Businesses.’

The winners were chosen based on an analysis guided by the seven habits of highly successful retailers that make up the Consumer Engagement Index developed by World Retail Forum sister brand Retail Store Tours: the human touch, the use of technology, store design, brand story, employee training, the ability to change quickly, and unique value proposition.

The other recipients of the 2020 Innovation Leadership Awards are Don Chermezian, co-CEO of American Dream; Satish Malhotra, chief retail officer and COO of Sephora; Vibhu Norby, co-founder and CEO of b8ta; Sharon Shi, founder of Chaccra; Leif Göritz, chairman of Thalia Bücher GmbH; Derek Du, founder and CEO, T11 Food Market; Bob Phibbs, CEO, The Retail Doctor; and Matthew Bauer, president, the Madison Avenue Business Improvement District.

A virtual awards presentation ceremony will take place on Nov. 17 at 12:30 p.m. EST.

Cincinnati-based Krogeremploys nearly half a million associates who serve 9 million-plus customers daily through a seamless digital shopping experience and 2,800 retail food stores under a variety of banner names. The company is No. 3 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2020 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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