Taking to the stage at the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Big Show, Kroger Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rodney McMullen pulled back the curtain on how the retailer strives for operational excellence. He was joined by NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay for a discussion that focused on Feeding the Human Spirit, sharing how Kroger continues to serve customers and associates in the ebb and flow of the competitive industry.
"Fundamentally, we know the grocery business will only ever become more competitive—that has proven true for the last century," said McMullen. "At Kroger, we succeed by giving a great experience to the customer, investing in associates, and making an impact in the communities we serve. When we do that really well, we succeed in living Our Purpose to Feed the Human Spirit."
McMullen cited the constant evolution of retail, observing that over the last four decades, shopping habits have gone from weekly trips to the store to a myriad of options. Kroger seeks to deliver a convenient, seamless experience that meets customers' daily needs—with zero compromise on value and convenience. He also noted an accelerated digital shopping and delivery trend due to the pandemic.
"A lot of people learned to cook during the pandemic, and when we talk to our customers, they are telling us they really like it, both in terms of eating together and showing off for their family and friends," said McMullen. "When families eat together, it improves so many aspects of their lives. As customers' lives begin to fill with soccer games, band practices, and the busyness of daily life, we still see them making time to cook at home."
According to a press release, McMullen credited Kroger's more than 420,000 associates for its outstanding customer service and community impact. He said since the launch of Zero Hunger | Zero Waste in 2017, Kroger has donated billions of meals to help end hunger and millions of pounds of surplus fresh food to avoid waste.
Shay and McMullen also discussed Kroger's recognition by Newsweek as one of "America's Most Responsible Companies" for 2023, as it was selected based on publicly available key performance indicators.
Keep a tab open for Deli Market News to see how Kroger remains committed to its people and communities.