Wakefern Food Corporation

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Wakefern Food Corporation
Founded1946 (76 years ago) (1946) in Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
  • Louis Weiss
  • Sam Aidekman
  • Al Aidekman
  • Abe Kesselman
  • Leo Eisenberg
  • Dave Fern
Headquarters5000 Riverside Drive, ,
Key people
  • computer services
  • insurance
  • advertising
  • marketing
  • merchandising
  • procurement
RevenueDecreaseUS$17.8 billion (2021)[1]
Members50 (2021)[2]
Number of employees
~ 80,000 (2021)[2]

Wakefern Food Corporation was founded in 1946 and is based in Keasbey, New Jersey, U.S.[3] It is the largest retailers' cooperative group of supermarkets and the fourth-largest cooperative of any kind in the United States. Wakefern was the largest private employer in New Jersey in 2018 (40,200 workers).[4] As of 2021, Wakefern has fifty member companies who own and operate 362 supermarkets,[2][5] under the brands of ShopRite, Price Rite Marketplace, The Fresh Grocer, Dearborn Market, Gourmet Garage, and Fairway Market in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Virginia.[1][3]


Meaning of the Wakefern name[edit]

The name "Wakefern" is a portmanteau of the founders' names: W for Louis Weiss, A for Sam and Al Aidekman, K for Abe Kesselman, E for Leo Eisenberg, and FERN for Dave Fern, although the company adopted the name ShopRite for its stores in 1951.

Cooperative overview[edit]

Wakefern owns one of the Northeast's largest trucking fleets and is the fourth-largest cooperative in the United States.[6] In fiscal year 2016, its revenue was US$16 billion, and US$16.3 billion in 2017. In 2011, Supermarket News gave Wakefern its Retailer Excellence Award and The Griffin Report and Progressive Grocer named Wakefern its Retailer of the Year. In 2012, this company was named one of the Best Places to Work in N.J. by NJBIZ Magazine. As of 2011, Wakefern was ranked 17th by sales among all supermarket operators in the U.S.

Wakefern also created and operates or franchises the Price Rite limited-assortment chain (based in Wethersfield, Connecticut) of stores in Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Virginia. Dearborn Market is a supermarket in New Jersey. Readington Farms, Inc. processes and distributes milk products in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.

On August 1, 2013, Wakefern added The Fresh Grocer banner, an eight-store chain based in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, when Burns Supermarkets joined the cooperative. One of the stores was converted to the ShopRite name while the others retained the Fresh Grocer name.[7] The banner has since been adopted by stores operated by other members of the cooperative.

Wakefern supplies all of its members' ShopRite stores as well as the Price Rite and The Fresh Grocer chains, and Dearborn Market. In July 2007, the cooperative announced that for the first time it was offering its wholesale services to third-party supermarket operators, in the Northeastern United States and other areas of the country. Since then, Wakefern has announced deals to supply the Gristedes and Morton Williams chains of supermarkets in the New York City area, Heinen's Fine Foods chain in Ohio, as well as The Market Place in Bermuda

Wakefern also provides its members' stores with services such as: computer services, insurance, advertising, marketing, merchandising and procurement.[8]

Member stores include the publicly traded Village Super Market.[9]

Wakefern currently has a total of seven warehouses in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Wakefern's fiscal 2021 sales dip after cycling pandemic-driven gains". www.supermarketnews.com. October 25, 2021. Retrieved October 29, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c "Wakefern: Who we are". October 3, 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Village Super Market, Inc, Form 10-K, Annual Report, Filing Date Oct 12, 2017". secdatabase.com. Retrieved May 11, 2018.
  4. ^ "New Jersey Leading Employers". newjerseyalmanac.com. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  5. ^ Redman, Russell (July 23, 2019). "Wakefern opens robotics-driven warehouse for online grocery". Supermarket News.
  6. ^ "2018 NCB Co-op 100" (PDF). National Cooperative Bank.
  7. ^ Brubaker, Harold (July 31, 2013). "Fresh Grocer to join Shop Rite's supplier, Wakefern Food Corp". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved September 29, 2019.
  8. ^ "Home page". Wakefern Corporation.
  9. ^ "Our Story". Village Supermarket.

External links[edit]