The Kroger Co. on Thursday said it would offer a one-time “voluntary retirement offering” for approximately 2,000 non-store associates as part of an ongoing cost control effort.
“Kroger would not be the successful company it is today without the incredible efforts of all of our associates. We believe a generous voluntary retirement offering is in line with our company values and recognizes the long careers many of our associates have had with Kroger,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO. “Kroger is committed to our operating model of lowering costs to invest in the areas that matter most to our customers.”
Kroger says a critical focus of its Customer 1st Strategy continues to be ongoing cost controls in areas where customers do not see them in order to invest in areas that improve Kroger’s connection with customers and associates. The company’s voluntary retirement offering for non-store associates is in line with this approach, according to the Cincinnati-based company.
Eligibility for the voluntary retirement offering will generally include administrative associates who meet certain criteria related to age and years of service as of Dec. 1, 2016. The offer does not include store and district associates, senior officers and supermarket division presidents.
Because it is voluntary, savings and cost will be based on the number of associates who accept the offer between now and early March, when the consideration periods expire. Expenses related to the offer will be reflected in Kroger’s first quarter 2017 results. The effect of this plan was not included in the company’s initial comments on fiscal 2017.