Like a well-oiled machine, Wakefern Food Corp. once again reported record retail sales of $16.3 billion for the 52-week fiscal year ending September 30, 2017 (a 1.5 percent increase from the prior year) at the company’s annual shareholder meeting held October 26 in East Brunswick, NJ.
Chairman and CEO Joseph S. Colalillo, president and COO Joe Sheridan and executive VP Chris Lane addressed shareholders, store management and staff of the largest retailer-owned cooperative in the United States, also reporting that Wakefern and its members opened four new ShopRite stores, two The Fresh Grocer stores and two PriceRite Marketplace stores during the same period.
“Our family-owned-and-operated supermarkets and their dedicated associates supported by knowledgeable and innovative Wakefern staff make the difference in this business and serve as the foundation for our strength and success,” Colalillo told an audience of nearly 900 people at the Hilton in East Brunswick.
Colalillo announced the retirement of Neil Duffy, president of PriceRite Marketplace, a registered trademark of Wakefern with 64 grocery stores in nine states. Veteran Wakefern executive Jim Dorey, who previously served as executive VP for PriceRite has been named the division’s new president. Dorey joined Wakefern in 2008 and became director of marketing for PriceRite in 2009. In 2010, he was promoted to VP-marketing and merchandising for the discount unit. In 2015, he was named executive VP of PriceRite.
“Neil’s dedication and hard work helped grow the popular Price Rite brand over the last 12 years, and we thank him for his service to Wakefern,” said Colalillo.
He also announced the retirement of Larry Collins from Wakefern’s board of directors and the addition of Patrick J. Burns, CEO of Burns’ Family Neighborhood Markets, to the board.
“We thank Larry for his service and commitment to the board. He will remain active in the cooperative and his own company, Collins Family Markets, which operates ShopRite stores in Philadelphia, Eddystone and Glenolden, PA,” noted Colalillo. “We welcome to the board Patrick Burns, who brought The Fresh Grocer stores into the cooperative in 2013. We look forward to working with Pat and the rest of the board to shape future success.”