Kroger is considered the king of customer experience.
In a 2022 report launched by Qualtrics, an online management company, researchers found that customers are generally happy with their in-store experience.
With 465,000 employees across 2,742 stores in the United States, Kroger has a massive presence in the grocery store market.
However, just because the customers love the stores and Kroger has a large piece of the market doesn’t mean employees love working there.
If you are interested in pursuing a career at Kroger, keep reading to learn more about the positives and negatives of working for the company!
Pros of Working for Kroger
Given a company this size, Kroger offers several advantages to working for them, such as:
1. Associate Discounts
All Kroger employees receive discounts on store-branded and household products every day.
This helps associates and their families’ budgets go a little further each week.
It is also a great benefit for trying different items they may otherwise not be able to afford.
It also opens entirely new lines of products that could save money overall while switching up your routine.
Having discounted products is always a great perk as it does not cost the company much money and is a wonderful way to keep employees happy and productive.
2. Busy Workdays
Working at Kroger can toss you into an environment where your shift flies by because you are busy.
There is a difference between being overly business where it is stressful and anxiety-ridden and the perfect type of busy.
Many stores offer a steady flow of customers or tasks that must be completed since supermarkets are a fast-paced environment.
Therefore, those who thrive in demanding environments may like supermarket work and could appreciate the small downtime these positions offer.
3. Continuous Education
One of the major advantages of working for Kroger or any major corporation is access to continuous education and tuition reimbursement opportunities.
Kroger offers both up to $21,000 per year for part-time and full-time employees.
The result of this tuition reimbursement has been that countless employees have earned every type of degree from GEDs to Ph.D.s.
Additionally, Kroger’s tuition reimbursement program is considered industry-leading, so the process is simplified so you can go back to school with little hassle.
4. Develop Merchandising Skills
Working at Kroger gives you the chance to develop merchandising skills that could include positioning products in an aesthetically pleasing manner throughout the store to improve sales.
This strategy is used by all supermarkets to persuade consumers to purchase specific items.
For instance, if a holiday is approaching, your manager could request that you display a merchandise table in front that includes holiday items.
This is certainly a point to add to an employee’s resume.
5. Financial Opportunities
Kroger offers employees the opportunity to financially invest in their features with financial planning tools, 401k and pension plans, and countless other financial benefits.
The purpose of these resources is to help employees save and plan for their future, so they can be prepared for any financial situation that life throws at them.
While many large firms offer 401k and pension plans, Kroger takes this a step further by offering financial planning tools.
6. Growth Opportunities
Another area Kroger shines in is the on-the-job training, personal development, and formal learning programs, all of which contribute to excellent growth opportunities within the organization.
Additionally, associates have countless options to expand their careers and skills within the company.
Many Kroger senior leaders started in the stores in a variety of positions ranging from clerk to restocking, cashier, manager, etc.
A large company like Kroger strives to invest in their employees, which offers a great return on investment, as opposed to hiring and training an outside candidate.
7. Health and Wellness
With extensive benefits including dental and health insurance, preventative care, as well as wellness programs, employees and their families can improve their health.
The company also offers well-child visits and free flu shots to all employees.
These types of comprehensive benefits are critical to keep employees healthy and productive and stack up well against the competition.
Additionally, Kroger offers emotional wellness programs such as free counseling and other mental health resources to help navigate all of life’s difficulties.
Cons of Working for Kroger
Despite the company’s size and positive aspects, there are some negative features you must be aware of, including:
1. Last-Minute Schedule Changes
Many employees report erratic hours that have different shifts every day.
That means most employees do not have a fixed schedule, which can disrupt the work-life balance.
In addition to these unpredictable schedules, employees also reported last-minute schedule changes which can further disrupt personal time.
Workers feel that the employer does not care much about their rest time, only about the scheduling as needed.
2. Not All Employees Follow Dress Code
Kroger has a dress code that prohibits masks, hats, or clothes with abbreviations, words, or logos.
Employees are required to always wear the Kroger-supplied blue apron.
However, at many stores, this strict dress code is not required for employees, so those who do not follow the rules are not reprimanded for their actions while others follow the rules.
In many instances, supervisors are also not following the corporate dress code, which eliminates the “lead by example” saying.
3. Overnight Shifts are Physically Demanding
Those who are required to perform the overnight stocking shift must pull an all-nighter including heavy lifting.
Although employees are paid extra, you must be physically and mentally prepared for this shift.
While on this shift, you will also have to deal with many other employees complaining about the hours and heavy lifting, so it is always best to stay out of the drama and develop a system so the time goes by faster.
4. Overwhelming Work
Regardless of the position, no employee wants to be buried in an excessive amount of work.
At Kroger, there is little time for chit-chat around the water cooler.
Instead, employees find themselves overwhelmed by the amount of work.
Worst of all, many feels underappreciated, even when they perform and overperform.
This can result in fast burnout and a decline in mental health, both of which majorly impact productivity.
5. Sleep Schedule Could Take a Hit
Due to the erratic scheduling practices, some employees do not even get a full night’s sleep between shifts.
It is common to be scheduled for 3 PM-11 PM and then have a 7 AM-1 PM shift the day after.
While no law requires companies to provide a minimum number of hours between shifts, it is a bad practice that is detrimental to physical and mental health, as well as morale.
Sleep deprivation can take a major toll on the body, especially over time.
6. Subpar Pay
As the largest grocery chain in the U.S., you would think it would pay well, right?
Well, you would be wrong!
This grocery chain pays less than many competitors, despite having a massive market share.
Although it increased its average hourly wages in 2021 from $15 to $16.25, direct competitor Costco boasts an average hourly pay of $24 per hour!
As a result, over 8,000 workers staged a three-week protest in Colorado to receive higher wages.
7. Uncomfortable Break Rooms
At many stores, employee break rooms are incredibly uncomfortable.
Many employees reported small and unhygienic break rooms.
However, the pandemic has forced Kroger to socially distance employees instead of taking breaks together in a cramped room.
Another measure they have implemented is increasing the size of break rooms.
On the other hand, the CDC recommended removing some break room seats to aid in social distancing and Kroger took that advice too far by removing all chairs at certain stores.
14 Pros and Cons of Working for Kroger – Summary Table
|Pros of Working for Kroger||Cons of Working for Kroger|
|1. Associate Discounts||1. Last-Minute Schedule Changes|
|2. Busy Workdays||2. Not All Employees Follow Dress Code|
|3. Continuous Education||3. Overnight Shifts are Physically Demanding|
|4. Develop Merchandising Skills||4. Overwhelming Work|
|5. Financial Opportunities||5. Sleep Schedule Could Take a Hit|
|6. Growth Opportunities||6. Subpar Pay|
|7. Health and Wellness||7. Uncomfortable Break Rooms|
Should You Work for Kroger?
There are numerous positives and negatives to working for Kroger.
On one hand, it is a major corporation with endless resources to help you develop and grow as an individual and employee, as well as having top-notch benefits.
On the other hand, the work can be difficult and demanding, with subpar conditions at some stores.
Determining whether you should work for Kroger is based on what your future goals and objectives are and what you want to get out of your career.
For those who like fast-paced environments in a physically and mentally demanding area, then this could be a great option for you.
On the other hand, if you like a slower-paced, not always being on the move position, then steer clear of working for Kroger or in any retail environment.
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