Wakefern Food Corporation

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Wakefern Food Corporation
Retailers' cooperative. Private
Founded1946 (74 years ago) (1946) in Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
Keasbey, New Jersey
Key people
Joseph S. Colalillo (Chairman & CEO)
Joseph Sheridan (President & COO)
Douglas Wille (CFO)
  • computer services
  • insurance
  • advertising
  • marketing
  • merchandising
  • procurement
RevenueIncreaseUS$16.6 billion (FY 2019)[1]
Number of employees

The Wakefern Food Corporation, founded in 1946 and based in Keasbey, New Jersey, U.S.,[3] is the 20th largest private company and the largest retailers' cooperative group of supermarkets in the United States, the fourth-largest cooperative of any kind in U.S., and the largest private employer in New Jersey (35,000 people).[4] Wakefern has fifty-one member companies who own and operate 353 supermarkets[2][5], under the brands of ShopRite, Price Rite Marketplace, The Fresh Grocer, Dearborn Market and Gourmet Garage in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Virginia.[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 acquired The Fresh Grocer, an eight-store chain based in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania. One of the stores was converted to the ShopRite name while the others retained the Fresh Grocer name.[7]

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. ^ http://prnewswire.com/news-releases/wakefern-food-corp-announces-16-6-billion-in-sales-300945232.html. Retrieved 6 November 2019
  2. ^ a b "Nicholas Markets joins Wakefern Food co-op". Supermarket News. October 30, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Village Super Market, Inc, Form 10-K, Annual Report, Filing Date Oct 12, 2017". secdatabase.com. Retrieved May 11, 2018.
  4. ^ http://www.nj.gov/njbusiness/at-a-glance/employers/ retrieved August 18, 2019
  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]