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Jeff Bailey of Kroger Talks About Improvements To His Store
By: Lorms Insurance Services
Bailey’s family moved to Houston when he was in the 7th grade. While in school, Bailey always had a job. First he mowed lawns and babysat, then when he turned 16, he worked in his dad’s restaurant. “Early on my dad instilled a healthy work ethic in me that I still live by today” says Bailey. David Lorms asks him if he recommends parents approve their kids working before graduation. “I think it’s important for kids to have a part time job while in school,” Jeff says. “It’
He joined the Management Training Program at Kroger while still young and has been in management ever since. He ran the Kingwood store before transferring to the Garden Oaks/Oak Forest location, which serves 35,000 customers a week. In 2012 Kroger awarded Bailey the President’s Leadership Award.
Lorms asks him about one of his roughest times. Bailey answers that it was when his father passed away. “It was tough. He had been a great role model for me, even in his last days. I hated watching him die of cancer.” Just a year after his dad’s passing, Bailey was himself diagnosed with cancer. “Surviving a disease like cancer makes you stronger. It gives you a more grateful look at life. I feel Dad’s strength helped me get through my own cancer and helped those around me as well.”
In 1998 his wife of 14 years and Bailey moved their family to this area. Bailey likes to use his family members as ‘mystery shoppers.’ “My staff doesn’t recognize them, and as consumers they give me great advice. It’s one of the advantages of having family that is not in the industry,” he explains. They love living in the area and don’t plan on moving. They especially love the feel of their older home. Lorms mentions that with the neighborhood rejuvenation, many younger families are moving in. Bailey adds, “That’s why we like doing kids-oriented promotions in the store.” They recently had a very entertaining time bringing Elsa the Ice Queen to his Kroger. “Kids and parents had such a good time with her that we had to ask her to stay past her allotted time. It was great.” Soon the store will host their Yearly Halloween Open House. His staff dresses up, kids come in costume, play games that are set up for them all around the store and leave with treats and candy. It will be held before Halloween and you can check with the store for the exact date. “It’
Lorms asks Bailey for his philosophy for business and life. Bailey gives a grin and answers, “Life is like a camera, focus on what important, capture the good times, develop from the negatives, if things don’t work out, take another shot!”
The store Bailey runs has just undergone a dazzling $5 million renovation. “We even finished the work 2 weeks ahead of schedule!” exclaims Dani Murphy- Cannella, Public Affairs for Kroger who is also in the studio.
“Remodeling has given us a second chance to make a good impression. We have a totally new layout for produce and other products,” explains Bailey. The organic produce section is larger. Bailey’
The highest amount of growth in the store is fresh, natural meat and produce. The meat department has new equipment and more natural meats, free range chicken, grass-fed beef, etc. They also have a wider variety of seafood. The Pharmacy is now twice as big and has the addition of an automated pill counter. The space and technology will give the pharmacy staff more room and more time to take care of their customers.
And just as important: New Restrooms! Price scanners are located in the store now and there’s a Kroger app for your smart phone. Bailey urges all Kroger shoppers to visit Kroger.com where they can get a plethora of coupons without paper.
A call from the listening audience asked about panhandlers outside the store. Murphy-Cannella answers “Safety is our first priority in the store and on and around our property. There is a yellow box at each of the lanes in the gas station. Just hit the button and it will ring the store automatically, around the clock, even if the store is closed to customers.” Bailey says that they will handle the situation immediately. A manager will take the store officer and ask the panhandler to leave. Their security staff is made up of off-duty Peace Officers.
David Lorms hosts Make It Happen With David Lorms, an internet radio show onwww.KBRZSports.comlive every Wednesday at noon about entrepreneurs, business owners, and successful people, their challenges and failures turned into success, and advise for people to better their lives and careers. Past episodes are available by pod cast on http://www.spreaker.com/