KEASBEY, N.J., Oct. 24, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Wakefern Food Corp. Chairman and CEO Joseph S. Colalillo, President and COO Joe Sheridan, and Executive Vice President Chris Lane addressed Wakefern shareholders, store management and staff at the company's annual shareholder meeting on October 24 in East Brunswick, New Jersey.
The company reported retail sales of $16.6 billion for the 52-week fiscal year ending September 28, 2019, a 0.7% increase from the prior year. The largest retailer-owned cooperative in the United States, Wakefern opened five new ShopRite® stores and also welcomed a new banner, Manhattan-based Gourmet Garage, during the same period.
"It's a time of great change and challenge in our industry, but we're excited for the journey ahead. With every new program we roll out, we are committed to providing the best shopping experience for our customers and creating the supermarket of the future," Colalillo told an audience of nearly 800 people at the Hilton in East Brunswick.
Wakefern President and COO Joe Sheridan said technology plays a key role in the push forward, with the company incorporating capabilities that elevate the customer experience both in store and online.
In July, Wakefern opened the first stand-alone micro-fulfillment center in the U.S. The facility uses advanced robotics to quickly assemble ShopRite from Home® grocery orders, enabling the retailer to expand the reach of its services. Wakefern is also making it easier for customers to design their own custom cakes and order catering and deli items online, and ShopRite dietitians are now available to answer customer questions through online chat.
"We are embracing change because customers are embracing change – the way they shop, the way they work and the way they live," Sheridan noted. "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 Executive Vice President Chris Lane reported on the recent launch of ShopRite's new Right Price Promise, and plans to introduce two new innovative store brands, Bowl & Basket™ and Paperbird™, in November.
Right Price Promise reflects a commitment to everyday low prices on the items customers purchase most frequently. By moving to everyday value pricing on key items, customers can count on ShopRite as their one-stop shopping destination.
ShopRite's planned launch of Bowl & Basket™ and Paperbird™ food and household lines next month will kick off a transformation of the retailer's own brands. The newly designed, carefully crafted store brands will offer the best assortment of high-quality foods and products at value pricing.
"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."
Wakefern shareholders re-elected to the Board of Directors at the meeting include: Colalillo, Chairman and CEO; Larri Wolfson, Dominick J. Romano and Irv Glass, Vice Chairmen; Lawrence Inserra, Jr., Treasurer; Jeffrey Brown and Sean McMenamin, Assistant Treasurers; Richard Saker, Secretary, and Ned Gladstein, Nicholas Sumas, and Shawn Ravitz, Assistant Secretaries. Sheridan was also re-elected as President and COO, and Lane was re-elected as Executive Vice President.
About Wakefern Food Corp.
From a small, local cooperative that began with eight grocery store owners, Wakefern Food Corp. has grown into the largest retailer-owned cooperative in the United States. 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, Rhode Island and Virginia. Together with its member companies, Wakefern employs more than 70,000 people, and is one of the largest employers in New Jersey. For more information, please visit www.wakefern.com.
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