The retirements of Neil Duffy, president of Price Rite Marketplace, a registered trademark of Wakefern Food Corp. with 64 grocery stores in nine states, and Larry Collins from Wakefern’s board of directors, as well as the addition to the board of Patrick J. Burns, CEO of Burns’ Family Neighborhood Markets, were revealed at the retailer-owned cooperative’s annual shareholder meeting, held Oct. 26 at the Hilton in East Brunswick, N.J.
“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 Chairman and CEO Joseph S. Colalillo. “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. 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 our future success.”
Additionally, the Keasbey, N.J.-based company reported record retail sales of $16.3 billion for the 52-week fiscal year ending Sept. 30, a 1.5 percent rise from the previous year. Wakefern and its members opened four new ShopRite stores, two The Fresh Grocer stores and two Price Rite 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 almost 900 attendees.
President and COO Joe Sheridan reviewed Wakefern’s accomplishments over the past year, among them its expansion of the Wholesome Pantry line of products featuring simple, clean ingredients, and the rollout this year of its newest private brand, ShopRite Trading Company.
“Wakefern Food Corp. and our supermarket banners continue to innovate and elevate the customer experience with great new brands, our store dietitians, digital platforms and a continued focus on fresh,” said Sheridan.
“We are committed to providing great community stores and delivering exceptional experiences with each of our four banners,” added EVP Chris Lane. “It’s a time of great change for the supermarket industry, and I am excited for what we will achieve over the course of the next year and for generations to come.”
Also during the meeting Wakefern shareholders re-elected to the board Colalillo as chairman and CEO; Larri Wolfson, Irv Glass and Dominick J. Romano as vice chairmen; Lawrence Inserra Jr. as treasurer; Jeffrey Brown as assistant treasurer; Richard Saker as secretary; and Ned Gladstein and Nicholas Sumas as assistant secretaries. Further, Sheridan was re-elected president and COO, and Lane was re-elected EVP.
Wakefern consists of 50 members who independently own and operate 345 supermarkets under the ShopRite,The Fresh Grocer, Price Rite and Dearborn Market banners in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Virginia. Together with its member companies, the company employs more than 70,000 associates, and is one of the largest employers in New Jersey.