Keasbey, New Jersey-based Wakefern Food Corp. Chairman and CEO Joseph S. Colalillo addressed shareholders, store management and staff during the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting held Oct. 20.
The company reported record retail sales of $18.6 billion for the 52-week fiscal year ending Oct. 1, a 4.69 percent increase from the prior year. Wakefern opened three new ShopRite stores, a Gourmet Garage and welcomed a family-owned Gerrity’s Supermarkets in Pennsylvania, which now operates 10 Fresh Grocer supermarkets in Pennsylvania. Price Rite Marketplace reported retail sales of $850 million, up 6 percent from the previous year.
Thousands of employees from across the cooperative tuned into the annual meeting, which was broadcast live. Leadership reported on the 2022 fiscal year and how Wakefern and its family-owned supermarkets marked 76 years with a commitment to elevating the customer experience and ensuring future growth.
During the meeting, Colalillo spoke about the company’s continued technological advancements, its e-commerce programs and growth opportunities for Wakefern’s six supermarket banners: ShopRite, Price Rite Marketplace, The Fresh Grocer, Dearborn Market, Gourmet Garage and Fairway Market.
He said Wakefern is also committed to growing its Own Brand lines Bowl & Basket, Wholesome Pantry and Paperbird.
“We are committed to giving customers the value they depend on from our stores, and we will go beyond again in 2023 to be laser focused on helping our shoppers,” Colalillo said.
He told Wakefern members and employees that despite supply chain shortages, a tight talent market and competitive industry headwinds, the company remains resilient, competitive and committed to serving its customers and communities.
“There’s no doubt that the supermarket industry has faced challenges in recent years,” Colaillo said. “But as we’ve always done, Wakefern members will succeed thanks to their own expertise as grocers and their dedicated teams of retail associates. We are committed to providing our customers with the best possible shopping experience at every touchpoint.”
Colalillo also presented the Chairman’s Award to Cheryl Macik, Wakefern’s retired director of customer care. During the meeting, he thanked Macik for her 40 years of service to the cooperative and commitment to customers.
“Cheryl has worked tirelessly to elevate our customer care programs and service,” Colalillo said. “Her legacy as a champion of the ShopRite customer has forever changed our organization, and her impact will be never be forgotten.”
For more information, visit wakefern.com.