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Kroger appointments support Restock initiative

McKinney to senior vice president of retail; Garnes to Fry’s president

Kroger announced today that it has promoted two employees to help support its Restock initiative. Restock, which was announced in October, is a series of strategic moves that include reducing its investments in new stores and leveraging technology to accelerate changes in assortments and improve customer service at existing locations.

The “Restock Kroger” initiative will involve an accelerated and more data-driven effort around pricing, personalized communications with customers and a massive revamp of product assortments, executives form the Cincinnati-based company explained in Kroger’s annual Analyst Day. Kroger is the largest collector of food purchase data in the U.S., the company said, and it intends to use that data as a competitive advantage as it expands its efforts to provide meal- and food-shopping solutions.

To support these goals, Kroger promoted Steve McKinney to senior vice president of retail divisions. McKinney has been with Kroger since 1981, when he was a clerk for Florida Choice Supermarkets, a former Kroger banner. He’s escalated throughout the company, eventually landing at president of Fry’s, a position he had held since 2013.

"Steve's nearly 37 years of Kroger experience and deep knowledge of food retail will help our divisions continue to execute with excellence," said Mike Donnelly, Kroger's executive vice president and chief operating officer. "Steve has always been passionate about creating uplifting associate and customer experiences. We look forward to him joining our senior leadership team as we continue to drive Restock Kroger."

The second appointment was McKinney’s replacement, which Kroger announced would be Monica Garnes, who had been corporate vice president of produce-floral merchandising. Garnes has been with Kroger since 1995, starting in the management training program in the Columbus division.

"Monica is a recognized leader in our business and across the industry," said Donnelly. "She combines a willingness to embrace fresh ideas with a keen business savvy that yields real results. As the company's first African-American division president, we are excited to have Monica drive and influence change in our company through her expertise and perspective, and we are eager for her to bring her passion for people and results to Fry's."

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