Issue link: http://magazine.progressivegrocer.com/i/689994
132 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | June 2016 Store ManagerS Dawn Vieth Store #6415, waukesha, wis., the Kroger Co./ Pick 'n Save A standout manager in the company, Vieth exceeded bud- geted sales by $640,000; her store saw a perishable sales increase of 124 basis points in 2015 (all perishable depart- ments were positive to budget by $420,000) and increased gross profit by $180,000. She personally men- tored and promoted a floral manager, pricing manager, leadership candidate, service operations manager and as- sistant store manager. Vieth found creative ways to make a difference in the local community, including free produce samples for kids and partnerships with area farmers. renée VinneDge Store #588, thompson's Station, tenn., the Kroger Co./ Kroger Marketplace Vinnedge developed future leaders among her store staff, including 15 associates who were promoted; three of these associates are female and now hold leadership positions in the company. The location was used as a division training store to develop managers. Under her guidance, the store experienced a 10.71 percent sales increase, achiev- ing two record sales weeks — outstanding considering the tough competition in the surrounding area — and its overall customer satisfaction score led the district. Vinnedge sent personal handwritten notes to thank her first 150 online customers. MeliSSa whaley Store #589, Brentwood, tenn., the Kroger Co. While going through a major remodel, Whaley's store achieved a 9 percent sales increase. The store also achieved an operating profit of 13 percent, the highest in the Nashville division. She was recognized as a high-potential store manager within her division and dis- trict. Her ability in merchan- dising and shrink manage- ment led to a sales increase of 15 percent in 2015, with weekly sales of $800,000. Whaley is the community co-chair of Kroger's Women's EDGE leadership team and she was recognized as one of the division and district's high- potential store managers. heather wheatley Store #717, elizabethtown, Ky., the Kroger Co. After undergoing a major remodel in 2015, Wheatley's store turned in record sales. Almost all department sales were up by double digits after the remodel, which added a Starbucks that averaged about $10,000 in sales. The store was the second in the Louisville division to roll out the ClickList service, which on the first day brought in 41 orders, tying a company record. It was the first loca- tion to have more than 100 orders in one day. Both of Wheatley's parents worked in grocery stores and taught her the value of treat- ing co-workers with humility and respect. Sharon roDriguez Store #398, alexandria, Va., the Kroger Co./ harris teeter Rodriguez oversaw the successful opening of a brand-new store; with her team's help, she achieved exceptional financial goals, ending the year more than $7.86 million over budget. Due to her creation of a natural training environ- ment, her location was select- ed to operate as a training store within six months of its opening. She's currently working to complete the Dale Carnegie Leadership program, as well as SHRM (Society for Hu- man Resource Management) certification. hazelon SMith Store #488, atlanta, the Kroger Co. Smith led her store to a 4 percent sales lift, and a 73 percent overall customer sat- isfaction score, thanks to her leadership skills and focus on high-performing teams. She promoted several as- sociates to leadership roles, started a support group for other female store managers, organized financial seminars for her team, and was involved in the Know Women Atlanta Division organization, which identifes and develops high- potential leaders. Smith faced numerous chal- lenges, including an armed robbery, but led with confi- dence and passion. angie SteinBerger Store #J-837, warsaw, ind., the Kroger Co. Steinberger's store turned in the highest sales volume in her district, including a 5.64 percent lift in identical- store sales, despite being located near newer, larger supermarkets. As she's known for her eye- appealing displays, her store was often chosen as a "show- and-tell" store for the district. Steinberger beat her shrink goal of 2.09 percent, coming in at 2.01 percent for 2015. One key to her success was holding weekly board meetings at which she heard from her department leaders, who tracked results and planned how to tackle underperforming metrics. winDy VargaS Store #642, north little rock, ark., the Kroger Co. Vargas rebuilt her store in a competitive market by training and developing 146 associates, mentoring department heads, slashing shrink, decreasing customer wait times, and creating a 10 percent sales increase. She earned the "district operator of the period" for six consecutive periods in measure- ments of labor usage, overtime hours, store accidents, shrink and cashier effectiveness. Vargas was appointed by the division to roll out the Kronos biometric time man- agement system, assisting 20 stores to enroll all associates and providing additional sup- port after training.