Wakefern Posts Record Sales of $16.6B
At Wakefern Food Corp.’s annual shareholder meeting on Oct. 24 in East Brunswick, N.J., the retailer cooperative reported retail sales of $16.6 billion for the 52-week year ending Sept. 28. This is a 0.7% increase from the prior year and a new company record.
During the past year, Wakefern opened five new ShopRite stores and added a new banner, Manhattan-based Gourmet Garage.
EVP Chris Lane mentioned Wakefern's plans to launch two new store brands in November: Bowl & Basket and Paperbird, which will include both food and household lines.
"With these pioneering launches, we are truly elevating the ShopRite experience for each and every customer who walks through our doors," said Lane. "We are ready to deliver to the next generation of shoppers the products and store experience that will make ShopRite their market of choice for their family meals, foods on the go and grocery needs."
Joe Sheridan, Wakefern president and COO, mentioned technology as a key component in the retailer cooperative's growth. Earlier this year, Wakefern opened a stand-alone micro-fulfillment center in Clifton, N.J. Teaming up with Waltham, Mass.-based Takeoff Technologies, the facility uses robotics to fulfill ShopRite ecommerce orders.
"We are embracing change because customers are embracing change – the way they shop, the way they work and the way they live," Sheridan said. "We are pairing high tech with a human touch to provide the very best shopping experience. Today's customers want great online shopping options, but they also want a personalized experience. Our promise is that we will deliver all of that to our customers."
Wakefern is also making it easier to design customer cakes and order catering and deli items online, with the help of technology. Customers can now access ShopRite dietitians through online chat, too.
The largest retailer-owned cooperative in the United States, Keasbey, N.J.-based Wakefern comprises 50 members that independently own and operate 353 supermarkets under the ShopRite, The Fresh Grocer, Price Rite Marketplace and Dearborn Market banners in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Virginia. Together with its member companies, Wakefern, which is No. 8 on Progressive Grocer’s 2019 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States, employs more than 70,000 people, and is one of the largest employers in New Jersey.