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Kroger Unveils Huge Growth Plans

Posted by ehayden on April 29, 2015

The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) is detailing a nearly half-billion dollar capital investment plan in central Indiana. The grocery chain's four-year strategy includes opening or remodeling 33 stores and adding more than 3,400 jobs. Central Division President Jeff Burt expects the effort to additionally have a "catalytic impact" on the construction industry and the company's vendor partners. Kroger says the plan began in 2014 and will continue through 2017.

Indianapolis, Ind. -- Kroger Central Division president Jeff Burt, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, Indiana Secretary of Commerce Victor Smith, Indy Chamber president Michael Huber and others announced details of Kroger’s massive, strategic capital investment plan for central Indiana today. Kroger’s plan, which quietly started in 2014 and continues through 2017, will exceed $464.6 million and create an estimated 3,440 additional jobs, plus additional jobs for the construction industry and Kroger’s vendor partners.

The Indianapolis plan follows completion of highly-successful, market-wide investment strategies in Fort Wayne and Bloomington between 2008 and 2014. The Fort Wayne strategy included an investment of more than $125 million and more than 500 new jobs. The Bloomington strategy included an investment of $40 million and more than 300 new jobs.

Kroger’s four-year strategic plan in the Indianapolis region will include: 
(additional details for each store project will be announced as individual projects begin)

--Seven Marketplace stores at: 11700 Olio Road in Fishers); US 31 and Mallory Parkway in Franklin; 8850 South Emerson Road and 5325 East Thompson Road in Indianapolis, as well as three others to be announced later. The Marketplace investment totals $141 million and brings 1,530 new jobs.
--Four new stores at: SR135 and Smokey Row Road in Greenwood; 116th and Michigan Road in Zionsville; Southport and Franklin Road in Indianapolis and one to be announced later. The total new store investment is $75 million and 710 new jobs.
--Expanding five stores at: 1217 South Range Line Road in Carmel; Independence Drive at US 31 South in Greenwood; 150 West 161st Street in Westfield and two to be announced later. The total store expansion investment is $58.3 million and 580 new jobs.
--Remodeling 17 stores within their existing walls at: 530 South Indiana Street in Mooresville; 1571 North State Street in Greenfield; 1700 Northwood Plaza in Franklin; 2550 Lake Circle Drive, 5025 West 71st Street, 4202 South East Street and 5911 South Madison Avenue, all in Indianapolis, as well as 10 additional expansions or remodels to be announced later. The total remodel investment is $95.5 million and 480 new jobs.
--Merchandising investments that clearly differentiate Kroger from competitors include:
24 new Murray’s Cheese locations in central Indiana
27 new Starbuck’s locations in central Indiana
14 new The Little Clinic locations in central Indiana 
Remodeling 22 pharmacies
16 new fuel centers in the region, each representing an additional investment of $1.5 million and 4-6 new jobs, for a total of $24 million and 80 jobs
Minor capital projects exceeding $70 million; through both major and minor projects, Kroger Central Division invests in every store every year
Expansion of Simple Truth natural and organic food offerings

Job Creation:
To accommodate the dramatic increase in hiring over the next several years and train the current 6,700 associates in central Indiana, Kroger is building a regional training center in Indianapolis. The 7,000 square foot building will train salaried management and hourly associates. The training center will hire several full-time staff and represents an additional financial investment by the company in Indianapolis. In 2014, one in four jobs created by The Kroger Co. was given to a military veteran. Immediate hiring requirements for 2015 include the following:
150 job openings at the Range Line Road store in Carmel
144 job openings at the Spring Mill Road store in Westfield

Kroger President Quote:
According to President of Kroger’s Central Division, Jeff Burt, "This announcement is a celebration of our people and our local communities. Kroger has remained very competitive in the marketplace because we recognize the critical importance of investing in stores with features appropriate to the 21st century marketplace and evolving customer expectations. Having capital resources, accurate market research and a determination to achieve our customer-focused business plan goals is a strong competitive advantage in the central Indiana region and explains our steady market share growth in recent years."

Mr. Burt added, "This massive economic and workforce investment in the central Indiana region will include more than $465 million over four years, more than three thousand new jobs and the addition of a regional training center. We anticipate a catalytic impact on the construction industry and our hundreds of vendor partners, including many local Indiana firms. As Kroger grows its retail store base in Indiana, our four food plants and four distribution centers in Indiana must grow and add jobs to keep pace. Strategically investing in our people and our stores will provide job security to thousands of current and new associates in central Indiana and give us the resources to continue generously supporting hundreds of local community organizations across Indiana."

Indiana Secretary of Commerce Quote:
Secretary said, "As Indiana grows, Kroger grows along with us and provides more than groceries. It is investing in our communities, creating jobs and opportunities across the state," said Victor Smith, Indiana Secretary of Commerce. "And now, as Kroger announces this expansion, it continues its legacy of creating more opportunities for Hoosiers. We celebrate with Kroger and look forward to its continued success here in the Hoosier State."

Mayor Ballard Quote:
According to Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, "This is a terrific day for the City of Indianapolis! We are very fortunate that Kroger has not only continued its 132 year history of giving back to the local communities they serve, but they have expanded their influence in key areas like hunger relief, protecting our environment and K-12 education. Kroger was a generous corporate citizen when they arrived in the Indianapolis market in 1924, and they remain one of our most generous corporate citizens today. I see their work first-hand at Gleaners Food Bank, Second Helpings, Susan G. Komen, the American Cancer Society, IPS School 46 and dozens of other organizations. On behalf of the citizens of Indianapolis, I want to thank Kroger for their decision to invest almost half a billion dollars in Indianapolis and provide jobs for thousands in our city."

Indianapolis Chamber Quote:
President of the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, Michael Huber, said, "The Indy region has a longstanding history with The Kroger Co. and has celebrated many years of investment here in Central Indiana, and throughout the state. As we work to support the growth of our existing companies, we welcome Kroger’s commitment to our community and our people and we congratulate them on this success."

The Kroger Co. has been serving local communities for 132 years. The Kroger Central Division has 136 food stores, 114 pharmacies and 89 fuel centers operating under four banners; Kroger, Scott’s, Owen’s and Pay Less, with locations primarily in Indiana and Illinois, in addition to three 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 $13.5 million in 2014 to local organizations, primarily focusing on hunger relief, K-12 education, health, sustainability and diversity. The Kroger Co. was once again named the most generous company in America in a Chronicle of Philanthropy listing detailed in Forbes Magazine. Kroger also was chosen as a Top Place to Work in 2015 by Star Media. At Kroger we value: honesty, respect, inclusion, diversity, safety and integrity.

Source: The Kroger Co.