Keasbey, NJ -
Wakefern Food Corp. Chairman and CEO Joseph S. Colalillo addressed Wakefern shareholders, store management and staff during the company's annual shareholders’ meeting held October 20.
The company reported record retail sales of $18.6 billion for the 52-week fiscal year ending October 1, 2022, a 4.69% increase from the prior year. The largest retailer-owned cooperative in the United States, Wakefern opened three new ShopRite® stores, a Gourmet Garage® and welcomed a new member, family-owned Gerrity’s Supermarkets in Pennsylvania, which now operates 10 Fresh Grocer® supermarkets in northeastern, PA. Price Rite Marketplace® reported retail sales of $850 million, up 6 percent from the previous year.
Thousands of associates from across the cooperative tuned into the annual meeting, which was broadcast live.
Leadership reported on the 2022 fiscal year and how Wakefern and its family-owned supermarkets marked 76 years with an unwavering commitment to elevating the customer experience, and ensuring future growth.
During the meeting, Colalillo spoke about the company’s continued technological advancements, its robust e-commerce programs, and growth opportunities for Wakefern’s six supermarket banners: ShopRite, Price Rite Marketplace, The Fresh Grocer, Dearborn Market, Gourmet Garage, and Fairway Market.
He said Wakefern is also committed to growing its popular Own Brand lines Bowl & Basket, Wholesome Pantry, and Paperbird while continuing to sharpen its promotions and pricing.
“We are committed to giving customers the value they depend on from our stores and we will go beyond again in 2023 to be laser focused on helping our shoppers,” said Colalillo.
He told Wakefern Members and associates that despite supply chain shortages, a tight talent market, and competitive industry headwinds, the company remains resilient, competitive and committed to serving its associates, customers and communities.
“There’s no doubt that the supermarket industry has faced challenges in recent years,” Colaillo said. “But as we’ve always done, Wakefern Members will succeed thanks to their own expertise as grocers and their dedicated teams of retail associates. We are committed to providing our customers with the best possible shopping experience at every touchpoint. ”
Colalillo also presented this year’s Chairman’s Award to Cheryl Macik, Wakefern’s newly retired Director of Customer Care. During the meeting, he thanked Macik for her 40 years of service to the cooperative and commitment to customers.
“Cheryl has worked tirelessly to elevate our customer care programs and service,” said Colalillo. “Her legacy as a champion of the ShopRite customer has forever changed our organization, and her impact will be never be forgotten.”
From a small, local cooperative that began with eight grocery store owners, Wakefern Food Corp. has grown into the largest retailer-owned cooperative in the United States. Founded in 1946, the cooperative comprises nearly 48 member families who today independently own and operate 365 supermarkets under the ShopRite, Price Rite Marketplace, The Fresh Grocer, Dearborn Market, Gourmet Garage, and Fairway Market banners in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. For more information, please visit www.wakefern.com