Wakefern announces record sales and aims to focus on private brands

In addition to announcing record sales for the 52-week fiscal year ending Sept. 29, Keasbey, N.J.-based Wakefern Food Corp. also announced it will focus more on private brands.

Wakefern Food Corp. Chairman and CEO Joseph S. Colalillo, President and Chief Operating Officer Joe Sheridan and Executive Vice President Chris Lane recently addressed Wakefern shareholders and told them the retailer-owned cooperative achieved a record $16.5 billion in sales, a 1.6 percent increase from the prior year, according to a press release. Lane said Wakefern will continue to enhance retail operations through targeted rebranding efforts and a focus on private brands. Lane said Wakefern is building a team to source on-trend products with innovative packaging and design.

“So much has changed in such a short amount of time in the supermarket industry. What hasn’t changed for Wakefern is our commitment to helping small businesses succeed in a big business world,” Lane told an audience of nearly 900 people at the shareholder meeting.

In the fiscal year, Wakefern opened four new ShopRite stores and two Price Rite Marketplace. Founded in 1946, Wakefern operates 352 supermarkets under the ShopRite, The Fresh Grocer, Price Rite Marketplace and Dearborn Market banners in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Virginia.

“Thank you for believing that our way of doing business — a cooperative of family-owned businesses — can compete and win against the competition that comes our way,” Colalillo told the audience. “The strong relationships we’ve created with our customers have built our brands and businesses.”
Sheridan noted future plans to open and remodel more stores in 2019 while expanding and enhancing e-commerce. He said Wakefern is actively testing artificial intelligence and next generation learnings to enhance the retail experience.