Wakefern Food Corp. Announces $18.3 Billion in Sales
KEASBEY, NJ - It seems that Wakefern Food Corp. has been on a continuous path of growth this past year. From the rebrand of its Price Rite Marketplace banner and its ShopRite® Wholesome Pantry and Wholesome Pantry Organic product lines to its acquisition of Fairway Market locations and expansions in formats and new partnerships, the cooperative has made major strides in the retail landscape, and all that strategizing wasn't for naught. Recently, the company reported retail sales of $18.3 billion for the 53-week fiscal year ending October 3, 2020, a 9.75 percent increase from the prior year.
“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.
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.”
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.
To couple with the new developments the cooperative is going through, Neil Falcone, Wakefern’s former Vice President of ShopRite Financial Services (SFS) and Corporate Finance, has been named Wakefern’s new Chief Financial Officer.
According to the release from the company, other notable achievements this year include:
- Opened four new ShopRite stores
- Welcomed a new banner, Manhattan-based Fairway Market
- Added a new member, Nicholas Supermarkets, founded by the Maniaci family in 1943 and now operates four new Fresh Grocer® supermarkets in northern New Jersey
- Launched Fresh to Table this month at three ShopRite stores
- Continued rollout of ShopRite’s award-winning flagship store brands, Bowl & Basket and Paperbird
- Expanded and rebranded its award-winning store brands, Wholesome Pantry and Wholesome Pantry Organic
- Opened its second stand-alone micro-fulfillment center, with plans to open additional micro-fulfillment centers over the next few years
Along with the announcement of achievements came a change in Wakefern’s executive leadership.
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.
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