As the nation has slowed down over the past year due to the pandemic, Wakefern Food Corp. seems to have used its experience and retail prowess to continue its growth during this time. From the rebrand of its Price Rite Marketplace banner and its ShopRite® Wholesome Pantry and Wholesome Pantry Organic product lines to its expansions in formats and new partnerships as well as its acquisition of Fairway Market locations, the retailer is showing no signs of stopping. All of the company’s hard work has paid off as Wakefern reported a whopping $18.3 billion in retail sales for the fiscal year, as well as an increase of 9.75 percent from last year’s numbers. The retailer has also announced a new Chief Financial Officer as it continues to look toward the future.
“Our store associates embraced their roles. Their courage and commitment was amazing, their teamwork energizing. Throughout the last seven months, I’ve witnessed our entire organization live our purpose of caring deeply about people, helping them to eat well, and be happy. It never had to be said, it’s just what we did,” said Chairman and CEO Joseph S. Colalillo.
Wakefern broke the news to its shareholders, store management, and staff during the company’s virtual annual shareholder meeting on October 22.
Chris Lane, Wakefern Executive Vice President, reported on the company’s successful initiatives and the focus the cooperative maintained even during a year of remarkable change and challenges. Lane also detailed Wakefern’s innovative plans to deliver wholesome and affordable fresh foods and meal solutions to customers.
“Step by step, we persevered and chipped away at our goals during 2020, even as we simultaneously responded to a global pandemic. And for that, we can only thank each and every one of you,” said Lane.
President and COO Joe Sheridan said 2020 created a new customer with new expectations that include cooking more at home and shopping more online. To accommodate this new customer, Wakefern added capacity to its popular online shopping offerings, including ShopRite from Home. Sheridan said the company continues to innovate, improve, and expand the digital shopping experience.
“Our customers turned to us for reassurance and for the things they wanted and needed for their families during this challenging time, and we were there for our customers, our neighbors, our friends, and our families,” said Sheridan. “There have been a lot of changes to how we operate and how people shop, but our goal is always to provide the best and safest possible shopping experience for our customers. And that’s exactly what we are doing.”
According to the release from the company, other notable achievements this year include:
Along with the announcement of achievements came a change in Wakefern’s executive leadership. Neil Falcone, Wakefern’s former Vice President of ShopRite Financial Services (SFS) and Corporate Finance, has been named Wakefern’s new Chief Financial Officer.
Geoffrey Eickhoff, President and Chief Operating Officer of Eickhoff’s Supermarkets, was also welcomed as a new member of Wakefern’s Board of Directors during the meeting, and leadership thanked retiring board member, Vince Lo Curcio of Nutley Park ShopRite, Inc., for his 10 years of service to the board.
To read the full release on the virtual annual meeting, click here.
As retailers continue to adjust, transform, and expand to meet changing demands, Deli Market News will report on the latest.