Tech-focused Kroger recognized as a top IT employer
- Kroger has been named to Computerworld’s "Top 100 Best Places to Work in IT" for 2018. It ranked 58th among large companies and is this only retailer to be recognized by the publication, which factors in benefits, work culture and employee empowerment into its rating. This is the second time Kroger has been named to the list.
- Kroger Technology’s initiatives include the retailer's EDGE shelf display — digital signage that integrates into retail shopping environments and alerts customers to product locations and sales. In March, EDGE received an APEX Award at the Digital Signage Expo.
- "We are programming our company's future through Restock Kroger, and technology and digital are at the core of the journey," Chris Hjelm, Kroger EVP and Chief Information Officer, said in a press release. "Kroger Technology associates are driving innovation and solutions to seamlessly blend online and offline shopping to redefine the grocery customer experience.”
While traditional retailers have been slow to adopt new technologies, those in the grocery space may not have much of a choice anymore with Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods last year. Though industry observers believe Amazon has yet to become as disruptive as predicted, that doesn’t mean the e-tailer hasn’t pushed competitors to hasten their pace of innovation, and it certainly doesn’t mean changes aren’t imminent.
Kroger’s focus on IT should position the company favorably for those changes. The company’s future-proofing efforts revolve around its $3 billion Restock Kroger initiative, which includes digital innovation aimed at achieving a seamless customer experience. It’s a high price tag to be sure, but the work toward modernizing its grocery stores reflect a broader consumer demand. Consumers want their stores to be more tech-savvy and they want their shopping trips to be more efficient.
Kroger Technology employees have been busy trying to meet this efficiency demand. The company is expanding its Scan, Bag, Go program — which allows shoppers to skip the front end entirely — as well as its Edge shelf displays, which alert shoppers where items on their list are located and if they’re on sale. Business Insider wrote that Edge “could change grocery shopping as we know it.”
The team has also been on the forefront of using customer data to personalize the shopping experience, which should provide a further advantage as industry competition intensifies and consumers crave a more tailored shopping experience.
Kroger certainly isn’t the only grocer embracing convenience-driven technologies. But by being the only retailer on Computerworld’s list, the company shows that its technology strategy is deeply woven into its culture. Computerworld’s criteria include employee benefits and salaries, career development, training and diversity, and low turnover rates. These perks indicate that Kroger is an ideal place to work and should help the company continue to attract top talent and maintain its edge.
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