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    McKinney Takes the Helm at Fry's

    Ralphs ops VP to run Kroger's Arizona stores following Flora's unexpected passing

    The Kroger Co. has promoted Steve McKinney, VP of operations at its Ralphs division, to president of Arizona-based Fry's Food Stores following the sudden death two weeks ago of Fry's president Jon Flora.

    McKinney, 57, has been ops chief of the Ralphs division in Southern California since 2007. "In his 31 years with the company, Steve has demonstrated a deep knowledge of our industry, excellence in operations, and a passion for serving our customers and our associates," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's president and COO. "Steve has the expertise and energy to lead Fry's in the years ahead. I know that he and our outstanding associates will continue to honor and sustain Fry's great legacy of associate engagement, service to our customers, and communities."

    Starting in 1988, McKinney served in various leadership positions at Fry's, including store manager, deli director and executive director of operations. In 1998, McKinney was named VP of operations at Fry's. In 2006, he took on that role for Kroger's Southwest division before moving to Ralphs in 2007. McKinney started at Kroger in 1981 as a clerk with Florida Choice Supermarkets, a former Kroger banner, before advancing to roles as a store manager, buyer and field representative.

    Fry's Food Stores employs nearly 18,000 Arizona residents and operates 119 food stores and pharmacies, and 70 fuel centers, in Arizona. Flora, who began a four-decade career with The Kroger Co. as a clerk and rose through the leadership ranks to become division president, died suddenly on Sept. 13 at age 58.

    Cincinnati-based Kroger, Progressive Grocer's 2013 Retailer of the Year, operates 2,418 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 31 states under two dozen local banner names including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Jay C, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry's, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith's.

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