Amid sweeping changes in the grocery industry, Kroger announced on Tuesday it is hiring for 11,000 new positions, including 2,000 management roles.
It is also investing $500 million in associate wages and training and development over the next three years.
As an example of the expected wage changes, Kroger cited a labor agreement it recently struck with its worker union in Cincinnati, the UFCW 75. Starting wages will be raised to at least $10 per hour for associates in the Cincinnati/Dayton area. After one year of service, associate wages will rise to $11 an hour.
Kroger has been trying to transform its company as the industry undergoes massive changes, pressured by Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods and changing consumer preferences. Several grocers, including Walmart, have realigned its workforce and resources to readjust to the need to focus more digital efforts, including delivery options.
One Kroger effort is the roll out of “Scan, Bag and Go,” a platform that allows shoppers to bypass a traditional cashier in paying for items, to 400 locations by the end of this year.