Kroger adding jobs; $75 million investment

Kroger logo, from their website.      Scotts Logo from the Kroger website.

If anyone still questions Kroger motives or decisions, this news should put that to rest.  Kroger press release:

At a 10 a.m. news conference today at the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce Building, Kroger Central Division President Bob Moeder and Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry announced details of Kroger’s massive strategic capital investment plan for Northeast Indiana. Kroger’s projected total multi-year investment in this region will exceed $75 million and will create more than 250 additional jobs.

Kroger’s three-year strategic plan in Fort Wayne will include:

  • Building three new stores, two of which will be a unique format that does not currently exist in the state of Indiana
  • Significantly expanding two stores
  • Remodeling an additional three stores
  • Closing three stores
  • Building up to ten new fuel centers in the region

Kroger President Quote:
According to President of Kroger’s Central Division, Bob Moeder, “The northeast Indiana grocery, pharmacy and fuel market is very important for The Kroger Co. The combination of Kroger and Scott’s has been very carefully managed and I am pleased to tell you that one year later we have exceeded every measure of success in our business plan. Most importantly, we have been able to combine the exceptional strengths and talents of the Kroger and Scott’s associates, focusing those talents on achieving ambitious goals through an unprecedented level of collaboration. This announcement is truly a celebration of further investments in our people and our communities. For 125 years we have been the local food store in hundreds of communities across this country. Every one of our associates is passionate and sincere about taking care of their customers. That shared dedication explains the success of the Kroger – Scott’s combination.”

Mr. Moeder, in announcing Kroger’s $75 million investment, added, “Almost 18 months ago, I announced Kroger’s acquisition of Scott’s Food and Pharmacy. At that time, I made a very firm, public commitment that we would take care of Kroger and Scott’s associates in this marketplace. Of the 1,340 Scott’s associates who joined us, less than 20 chose to leave the company at the time of the acquisition. This is a phenomenal retention rate in today’s 21st century economy. We also pledged to continue Kroger and Scott’s community engagement priorities and charitable contributions, and we have actually increased our combined contributions to this community. This morning I am pleased to tell you that Kroger is launching a massive economic and workforce investment in this region. This multi-year strategy will include more than $75 million in capital investment and will lead to a net increase of as many as several hundred net new jobs. In addition to Kroger’s direct investment in retail centers across this region, we anticipate a catalytic impact triggering other retail investments that could bring significant reinforcing economic impact.”

Mayor Henry Quote:
According to Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry, “This is a terrific day for the City of Fort Wayne! We already knew Kroger as a dedicated, generous corporate citizen, but recently all of us have had an opportunity to witness the growth of an impressive partnership. We are very fortunate that Kroger has not only continued its own 125 year history of giving back to the local communities they serve, but they have carried on Scott’s traditions such as supporting the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo and Cancer Day. In these uncertain economic times, every elected official is distracted by the possible decisions of key employers in their community. Across this state, we see many examples of companies closing or down-sizing. Thankfully, we also see corporate citizens like Kroger who are increasing their investments. On behalf of the citizens of Fort Wayne, I want to thank Kroger for their decision to invest in us. I also want to thank the thousands of Kroger and Scott’s associates whose hard work and dedication is the real reason this investment is possible.”

Fort Wayne Chamber Quote:
Kristine Foate, President of the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce reinforced Mayor Henry’s comments, adding, “We have been saying for some time now that Fort Wayne is a great place to do business. Kroger’s announcement today is further validation of that claim. We are thrilled that Kroger is finding such success in our community and that they are planning this significant reinvestment in Fort Wayne which will lead to more jobs for area residents.”

Related Websites:
Kroger – Corporate website | Store website

3 COMMENTS

  1. Do you know what type of unique format that this would be? Would there be any hopes in building a more urban Kroger either in Downtown, or in infill space of one of the neighborhoods?

    Do you think that they would ever think about purchasing the empty grocery store on Clinton and State?

    • Hey Buddy,

      The Store on Clinton and State used to be a 24-hour Kroger. It closed a couple of years ago when they bought Scott’s. I never understood it. It was convenient, very close to downtown, open 24 hours, always seemed to do well. On the downside, it was pretty land-locked, outdated. I really miss it!! I do my shopping late at night – I’m a night owl. But any more, the Scott’s/Krogers and Walmart stores leave a lot to be desired after 9 pm. They usually go down to one cashier and it’s a mess. Outside of what was in the press release, which was very little, I don’t think they released much in the way of details or which stores will close or so forth. I called my contact at The Chamber and was told they weren’t giving too many specifics.

      I would absolutely love a downtown grocer. When Harrison Square was first conceived, if you could get City officials to stop laughing enough, or even discuss the possibility of a grocer in that area, all they could talk about was a Trader Joe. I’ve never been thrilled about them, but then again, to each his own. When you pressed about somebody like Scott’s or Kroger, the response was that there weren’t enough rooftops in downtown to support a grocer. Well, true in the core, but look at how the Kroger on Spy Run Ave and State, the one you’re talking about (I’ll always remember as the Kroger on Spy Run) used to draw them in. In my building, it was all people could talk about when it closed.

      Oh well.

      There is also another interview here. I don’t know if it sheds any light on the subject. It’s late and it won’t play in my browser and I don’t feel like switching.

    • I forgot to mention. Those unique formats have had mixed results in Fort Wayne. Marsh Supermarkets tried one years ago and it didn’t work. I was in it once and was not impressed with it at all. Extremely expensive and the problem was it was a lot of brands I’d never heard about. $3.50 for a small jar of pickles is a risk if you don’t know how they taste. I know they’re closing the World Market (?) out by Glenbrook, but that might be more the result of internal company problems than lack of business or reflection on Fort Wayne.

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