Wakefern Food Corp., reported record retail sales of $16.5 billion for the 52-week fiscal year ending September 29, 2018, a 1.6 percent increase from the prior year. The retailer-owned cooperative opened four new ShopRite stores and two Price Rite Marketplace stores during the same period.
Chairman and CEO Joseph S. Colalillo, President and COO Joe Sheridan and Executive Vice President Chris Lane addressed Wakefern Food shareholders, store management and staff at the company’s annual shareholder meeting last week in East Brunswick, NJ.
“Thank you for believing that our way of doing business – a cooperative of family-owned businesses – can compete and win against the competition that comes our way,” Colalillo told an audience of nearly 900 people at the Hilton in East Brunswick. “The strong relationships we’ve created with our customers have built our brands and businesses.”
Joe Sheridan recapped Wakefern’s accomplishments over the past year and noted future plans to open and remodel more stores in 2019 while expanding and enhancing e-commerce. He said Wakefern Food is actively testing artificial intelligence and next generation learnings to enhance the retail experience.
“Wakefern and our supermarket banners, ShopRite, Price Rite Marketplace, The Fresh Grocer and Dearborn Market, are always working to innovate and elevate the customer experience. The supermarket industry is changing rapidly and we are adapting to provide exceptional shopping experiences, both in store and online,” Sheridan told the audience.
Chris Lane reported on efforts to enhance retail operations through targeted rebranding efforts and a focus on private label brands. Wakefern Food, he said, is building a team to source on-trend products with innovative packaging and design.
He also cited the rollout earlier this month of a new format and reimagined shopping experience at three Price Rite Marketplace pilot stores in Pennsylvania. The rebranded stores in Allentown, Bethlehem and Secane focus on special deep discounts while offering more organics, more fresh foods, more convenience and better value.
“So much has changed in such a short amount of time in the supermarket industry. What hasn’t changed for Wakefern Food is our commitment to helping small businesses succeed in a big business world,” added Lane.
Founded in 1946, the cooperative comprises 50 members who today independently own and operate 352 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 Food employs more than 70,000 people, and is one of the largest employers in New Jersey.
Information Provided By PRNewswire.