Kroger will soon expand its footprint in the Dayton region with two new stores opening this summer, bringing more than 600 jobs and $40 million in economic growth.
The Cincinnati-based grocery retailer is adding two new locations in Centerville and Fairborn, which has created thousands of jobs during the construction phases and ups the number of stores in the Miami Valley to more than 50.
“Kroger’s growth trajectory continues to create opportunities for our people to advance their careers – and to do that in a fun, team environment with great benefits,” saidTim Massa, Kroger’s group vice president of human resources and labor relations.
The popular grocer already employs more than 8,100 associates in the Dayton region. Nationwide, the company grew its workforce by more than 12,000 associates last year, and announced earlier this year that it would look to hire an estimated 10,000 permanent positions in its supermarket divisions.
Over the past eight years, the company has created more than 86,000 permanent jobs — and employs, more than 443,000 associates in 35 states. Here locally, the Kroger at the Cornerstone of Centerville development is poised to open in early June. A spokeswoman for the Cincinnati-based grocery retailer told this news organization that an exact opening date has not been identified yet.
The 125,000-square-foot store is being built on Feedwire Road between Costco and Cabela’s. Kroger invested about $21.2 million into the new store, and it will employ about 300 workers. When the Centerville Kroger opens, the grocery retailer will close its location at 2100 E. Whipp Road in Kettering.
Kroger is also opening a new 124,000-square-foot store in Fairborn in late August, according to a spokeswoman. Oberer Realty Services announced the grocery retailer will anchor The Shoppes at Valley Greene development near East Dayton Yellow Springs Road in Fairborn. Starbucks will also open a 2,774-square-feet location in the same development in late summer or early fall.
The supermarkets and grocery industry have a major impact on local economies, and brought in $612 billion in revenue nationwide last year. More than 2.6 million people were employed by the industry in 2016 as well.
“Typically, the grocery store tends to be the place where people break into the job market,” said Kristin Mullins, president and CEO of the Ohio Grocer Association. “We’re the people who teach young folks how to come to work on time, the responsibilities of a job, and we are happy to serve that role.”
As the growth continues, grocery retailers are also adding new features for changing consumer trends.
Kroger expanded ClickList, its online shopping service to several Dayton locations. Customers have the ability to go online and order from more than 40,000 items. With reserved pickup parking, Kroger associates bring the grocery order to the car.
Meijer also announced last week that home delivery will be available in Dayton and Cincinnati, creating 1,000 jobs in the state. It’ll be available on April 27, and in Columbus, Dublin and Fairborn on May 4.
Meijer partnered with Shipt, an app and website that offers grocery delivery services. It allows customers the ability to shop for items online or using its mobile app, and then a personal shopper brings the shopping order right to the customers door.
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There are other options, too, like Amazon’s new grocery delivery service. In select cities, Amazon Prime members can shop online for groceries and everyday essentials and have it delivered to their doors with AmazonFresh. Customers pay a monthly $15 fee, in addition to their $99 annual Prime fee.
“I think Amazon is providing us with some stiff competition in this area, and other traditional online shopping,” Mullins told this newspaper. “The grocers are really trying to move to more convenient ways to shop. They are trying to think about how consumers want to get their groceries these days, and what’s the best and most effective way for them to get it to them.”
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