Wakefern Food Corp. reported sales of $16.6 billion for its fiscal year ending Sept. 28, a 0.7 percent increase from the prior year. Chairman and CEO Joseph S. Colalillo, President and COO Joe Sheridan and EVP Chris Lane addressed Wakefern shareholders, store management and staff at the company’s recent annual shareholder meeting in East Brunswick, New Jersey.
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.
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 Food Corp. also is 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 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.”
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.
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.