Kroger Offers Voluntary Retirement Option for 2,000 Employees
Kroger said on Friday that it's offering a voluntary retirement option for many of its non-store employees in an effort to cut costs. Kroger said about 2,000 associates are eligible for the offer, but it doesn’t include store and district associates, senior officers and supermarket division presidents. Employees have until March to decide whether they’re interested in the deal. While Kroger doesn’t have an estimate for how much the move will save in operating costs, it will reflect expenses related to the offer in its first quarter results and reveal how many employees participated. This is the first time Kroger has offered a voluntary reduction in its workforce.
Total Retail's Take: This voluntary retirement initiative follows Kroger’s third quarter results, which were announced earlier this month. While Kroger extended its same-store sales growth streak to 52 consecutive quarters, it did so by a gain of only 0.1 percent. The smaller-than-normal increase has created a “sense of urgency” in the company’s management team. While the move may not be good news for employees being asked to retire, it's being looked upon favorably by shareholders. Kroger's stock rose after the announcement.