Thursday, January 26, 2017 by Don Wrightman
The Kroger supermarket chain announced on Monday that they are looking to fill 10,000 permanent positions. They are the latest to join the list of companies that have publicized plans to hire more workers in the US. President Donald Trump has been putting pressure on companies to do just that, and it seems to be working.
Kroger’s latest number is still a tick lower than the amount of jobs they created last year, but the growth is still pleasant, adding enough jobs to comprise over 2 percent of the company’s workforce. As of January 2016, Kroger had 431,000 full and part time employees. That number should grow to 453,000 by the end of 2017.
Kroger’s announcement came on the same day that Amazon announced it would be creating over 1,000 permanent jobs in Colorado, at its new distribution center. Earlier in the month, Wal-Mart announced they would be creating 10,000 US jobs, as previously planned by the corporate giant. AutoZone has also been on the job creation bandwagon, announcing plans to hire over 12,000 full and part time positions by April. (RELATED: Find more Wal-Mart news at Walmart.fetch.news)
Trump is finally in office, and has been very critical of US companies on his campaign trail. He didn’t feel like they were doing enough to keep jobs here at home. On Monday, Trump met with a dozen American manufacturers at the White House, where he pledged to cut regulations and corporate taxes, in efforts of stimulating job growth in the US.
The latest Kroger hiring expansion marks one of the company’s biggest job increases over the last decade. The Cincinnati based supermarket chain is the largest traditional supermarket operator in the states. Kroger spokesman Keith Dailey said that the hiring push isn’t part of a new initiative, rather binds together several previous job creating announcements in markets nationwide. The chain is looking to fill those jobs across it’s chain of 2,796 stores.
Kroger typically has many positions open at any given time, but the 10,000 jobs figure highlights jobs the chain is looking to add. Their growth trajectory continues to create career advancement opportunities. Kroger’s vice president of human resources, Tim Massa, said that Kroger provides a fun team environment with great benefits. “We’re looking for associates who are passionate about people and about food, and who want to make a difference for our customers, communities, and each other,” said Massa, who added that 70 percent of store managers had worked their way up from part-time starting positions.
Kroger employees have seen their net income increase by 11.1 percent per employee since 2012. In comparison to competitive retailers, Whole Foods employees net income fell by 16.3 percent over that same period of time. Walmart has also seen a 10 percent reduction in their employee’s net pay since 2012. (RELATED: Find more Whole Foods news at WholeFoods.news)
Kroger is also trying something new in its home market of Cincinnati, they will be trying out digital shelves at 14 local stores. The concept allows customers to interact with screens on the Kroger mobile app, and uses sensors and analytics. Special pricing will be offered to digital users, when it is available.
The digital shelf idea aims to stay in touch with competition like Amazon and Walmart, who increasingly use technology to break the divide between e-commerce and traditional retail. One of Amazon’s expansion efforts is a brick and mortar convenience store named Go, which uses a cashier free system. Wal-Mart is also working on methods to predict consumer behavior with analytics, as a way of improving the inventory management at its Data Café.