updated: 1/15/2009 2:12:17 PM

[UPDATED] Kroger Unveils Multi-Million Dollar Investment in Indiana

Inside INdiana Business.com Report

 Kroger Central Division Spokesman John Elliott says the investment shows the company's commitment to the Fort Wayne area and the entire state.

The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) says it plans to invest more than $75 million and create more than 250 jobs in Northeast Indiana. The three-year plan includes construction of three new stores, expanding two existing locations and remodeling three others. Kroger also says it will build up to ten new fuel centers in the region. The announcement follows Kroger's purchase of Scott's Food and Pharmacy nearly two years ago.

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Source: Inside INdiana Business

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Press Release

FORT WAYNE, IN – January 15th – At a 10:00 AM news conference today at the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce Building, Kroger Central Division President Bob Moeder and Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry will announce 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.”

-Kroger’s District Four, based on North Clinton Street in Fort Wayne, manages 19 stores under the Kroger, Scott’s and Owens banners and employs 1,650 associates. These 19 stores include 1,114,943 square feet of retail space. Of the 19 stores, 16 have pharmacies and three have fuel centers.
-Kroger’s 1.1 million square foot Bluffton distribution center is the largest corporate employer in that county with 1,185 employees and is in the midst of yet another expansion. Additional expansions are likely for Kroger’s supply chain locations in the state and there would be an opportunity for state and local government to positively impact those efforts.
-In the last six years Kroger Central Division has invested in 12 new stores, with a new store planned for Indianapolis in 2009, in addition to the new stores planned for Fort Wayne. Each new store is a capital investment of at least $12 million. The scale of Kroger’s smaller projects exceeds what many competitors invest in total.
-In the last six years, this Kroger division has invested more than $450 million in expanding or remodeling 85 stores. Of that, $40 million was in 2008 alone and I am pleased to say the pace will accelerate in 2009.
-This Kroger division has opened 22 new fuel centers since 2003 and will open at least an additional 12 fuel centers in 2009, accelerating our investment pace. In today’s dollars, the operating division’s existing 52 fuel centers represent a capital investment of more than $33 million, 264 new jobs in Indiana and 48 new jobs in Illinois. The 2009 fuel center investments represent an additional 72 new jobs and up to $8 million in capital projects.
-This Kroger division has opened 18 new pharmacies since 2003 and will open an additional two pharmacies in 2009. In 2008 alone, Kroger acquired four pharmacies and remodeled or expanded 11 pharmacies. This created 20 new pharmacy jobs.
-In fact, over the last six years, Kroger Central Division has created nearly 2,000 new jobs, primarily in Indiana.
-Although Kroger does not disclose revenue for individual operating divisions, if we included all Kroger retail, distribution and manufacturing operations, our revenues as a stand-alone company would rank Kroger ninth in the state. As we continue at an industry-leading pace, that ranking could move higher. By the same criteria, our number of employees as a stand-alone company would rank us fifth in Indiana.
-Most Indiana operations are managed from the Central Division office in Indianapolis, but other divisions manage 12 additional Kroger Banner stores in Indiana, one Food 4 Less store and about 30 JayC stores in south central Indiana. In total, Kroger divisions operate more than 150 food stores, more than 100 pharmacies, more than 50 fuel centers, a dairy in Indianapolis, a cheese plant in Crawfordsville, a bakery in Indianapolis and three distributions centers in Indianapolis, Shelbyville and Bluffton.
-Kroger’s combined employment in Indiana, including office staff, groceries, manufacturing plants and distribution centers, provides more than 17,000 Hoosier jobs. Kroger’s payroll impact in Indiana is nearly $400 million annually.
-A segment of Kroger’s investment in Indiana has come through acquisitions, including Owens in 1998, Hilander in 1998, Pay Less in 2000, Scott’s in 2007 and four local pharmacies in 2008. Kroger will continue to consider local acquisitions as part of its long-term strategy.
-As the nation’s largest retail grocer and the world’s argest florist, Kroger operates approximately 2,600 groceries, 1,900 pharmacies, 800 convenience stores (nearly 100% also have fuel), 700 fuel centers, 400 jewelry stores, as well as 42 food manufacturing plants and dairies under 34 different banners in 31 states. Kroger is the 80th largest corporation in the world and is the second largest retailer in the U.S., with revenues of more than $70 billion in 2007 and employing more than 330,000 people.

The Kroger Central Division has 153 food stores, 129 pharmacies and 52 fuel centers operating under five banners; Kroger, Scott’s, Owen’s, Hilander and Pay Less, with locations primarily in Indiana and Illinois, in addition to five stores in Missouri, one in Michigan and one in Ohio. Kroger Central Division is dedicated to supporting every local community it serves, contributing more than $7 million annually to local organizations, primarily focusing on hunger relief, K-12 education, health causes and diversity. At Kroger we value: honesty, respect, inclusion, diversity, safety and integrity.

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