Kroger Offers Early Retirement for 2,000 Non-Store Associates
CINCINNATI, OH - In an effort to continue to lower its operating costs, Kroger Co. has announced it will be offering early retirement options to approximately 2,000 non-store associates. The one-time “Voluntary Retirement Offering” would then allow Kroger to invest in further customer-focused programs, the company says.
"Kroger would not be the successful company it is today without the incredible efforts of all of our associates. We believe a generous Voluntary Retirement Offering is in line with our company values and recognizes the long careers many of our associates have had with Kroger," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's Chairman and CEO. "Kroger is committed to our operating model of lowering costs to invest in the areas that matter most to our customers."
The Voluntary Retirement Offering mainly includes administrative associates, and will not include store and district associates, senior officers, and supermarket division presidents. As a voluntary program, Kroger says its total savings will not be known until the company knows the number of associates who accept the offer before early March, when the consideration periods expire. According to a press release, expenses related to the offer will be reflected in Kroger's first quarter 2017 results.
"We are firmly focused on our long-term strategy of improving our connection with customers and associates, and continue working on process changes to lower costs," McMullen shared after the company delieved a less than stellar Q3 financial report. We don't change our strategy based on quarterly swings in results. We remain committed to delivering on our long-term earnings per share growth rate guidance."
Kroger estimates its everyday traffic at eight and a half million customers, with 431,000 associates to help them in 2,796 retail food stores. Throughout its 35 states footprint and the District of Columbia, the company also operates 2,253 pharmacies, 787 convenience stores, 324 fine jewelry stores, 1,439 supermarket fuel centers, and 38 food production plants.