Kroger plans $770 million investment in workers this year

The grocery giant says the investment will raise average hourly pay rates, improve health care options and create new training and development opportunities.
A Kroger grocery store.
  • Kroger plans to invest more than $770 million in its employees this year.
  • The investment will raise average hourly wages and improve health care offerings, it said. 
  • Numerous retailers across sectors have recently upped hourly pay.

Kroger, the largest supermarket operator in the U.S., this month said it would invest more than $770 million in its associates — employees — in 2023. 

In a March 2 release, Kroger said the incremental investment would be used to raise average hourly pay rates, improve its health care offerings and build new opportunities for training and development. 

"Investing in our associates' holistic well-being is an essential part of what makes Kroger an employer of choice, and ultimately becomes an investment in our customers and communities," said Tim Massa, Kroger's senior vice president and chief people officer, in the release. "When we think about how we build our benefits, we want to enable every associate to thrive financially and emotionally – both in their careers and at home.”

In addition to its namesake store, Kroger owns supermarket banners that include: 

  • Ralphs
  • Dillons
  • Smith’s 
  • King Soopers
  • Fry’s
  • QFC
  • City Market
  • Owen’s 
  • Jay C
  • Pay Less
  • Baker’s 
  • Gerbes
  • Harris Teeter
  • Pick ‘n Save
  • Metro Market
  • Mariano’s

The grocer, which last year announced plans to merge with rival Albertsons, said the investment builds on $1.9 billion in incremental investments in its employees made since 2018. 

Those investments have increased Kroger’s average hourly wage to $18, or $23.50 per hour when benefits are factored in, it said. Previous investments also include an education benefit program that provides employees up to $21,000, free counseling, free financial coaching and improvements to its onboarding program, according to Kroger.

Retailers across sectors have over the past several years invested in raising wages for employees, especially amid the push to raise the federal minimum wage from the $7.25 hourly rate set over a decade ago. As Retail Leader previously reported, retailers like Home Depot, Walmart, Target and CVS Health have all recently upped wages paid.