In the spirit of giving thanks The Food Industry Association (FMI) proclaims Feb. 22 Supermarket Employee Day. It’s a day to recognize and appreciate the vital contributions of supermarket employees who keep our communities fed and running smoothly. These dedicated individuals work tirelessly to stock shelves, ring up groceries, answer customer questions, and ensure a pleasant shopping experience for everyone.

History of Supermarket Employee Day

Supermarket Employee Day was first established in 2021 by FMI in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. During this challenging time, supermarket employees were on the front lines, working long hours and facing increased risks to ensure that people had access to essential food and supplies. Supermarket Employee Day was created as a way to show gratitude for their hard work and dedication.

Fun Facts About Supermarket Employees

Curious why supermarket employees are so important? Here are some fun facts:

  • Supermarket employees are one of the largest workforces in the U.S.
  • The average supermarket employee works about 30 hours per week.
  • Supermarket employees often face challenges such as long hours, heavy lifting, and dealing with difficult customers.
  • The average number items carried in a supermarket is 31,530.
  • There are more than 40,000 stores that sell food and grocery items in the U.S. alone.

How Technology Supports Supermarket Employees

Retail technology continues to evolve, and grocery retailers know that they cannot be left behind the curve. The pandemic drove an increase in online shopping and grocery retailers were not immune to the huge interest in buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS), curbside pickup, and buy-online-same-day-delivery. BOPIS continues to endure as it was a bright spot for grocery stores in 2023. Not to mention scan-n-go and self-checkout solutions, which have moved some of the cashier roles of past to new roles as the picker and packer of the orders.

This expansion of options for the customer has stretched the supermarket employee further than ever before, and retailers can benefit with modern day workforce management systems to allow their employees the flexibility and visibility they desire.

We are also seeing additional new technologies emerge in grocers:

  • Electronic Shelf Labels (ESLs) are loved by the employees as they save hours of replacing paper price tags and can be updated instantly to reflect dynamic pricing. ESLs also are used to aide the picking of online orders and direct the employees where replenishment is needed.
  • Robots that walk the sales floor and relay ou- of-stock information to the store staff that drive efficiencies and help ensure product is on the shelf for customers.
  • Smart carts that ease the checkout process and eliminate the reliance on self-checkout.

All of these technologies allow the supermarket employee to spend more time delivering great customer service.

Special Thanks to Those Dedicated Employees

For my family, I get the pleasure of doing the weekly grocery shopping. Having worked in retail for over 30 years and spending almost half of that time working on the frontline, I have a special appreciation for the supermarket employees. You can see the dedication of the employees and how passionate they are about their stores, as well as how they are part of the fabric of their communities. Not to mention that the supermarket customer can be very demanding.

Today, we celebrate the dedicated employees that fill the shelves, ring the register, pack the groceries for pick up or delivery, keep the store clean, and watch over the self-checkout – you have earned our gratitude, and we celebrate our front-line heroes!

Here are some ways you can celebrate Supermarket Employee Day:

  • Thank a supermarket employee for their service the next time you’re at the store.
  • Write a letter or email to the manager of your local supermarket expressing your appreciation for your employees.
  • Share your favorite supermarket employee stories on social media using the hashtag #SupermarketEmployeeDay.
  • Support initiatives that advocate for fair wages and working conditions for supermarket employees.

Why Blue Yonder?

I’ve made a career out of working in retail and I love that I get to now help supermarkets run more efficiently and deliver exceptional experiences with Blue Yonder’s grocery solutions.

If you would like help delighting your employees and customers, controlling labor or boosting profitability with technology, Blue Yonder’s Industry Strategy leads are available to help you reach your goals. Reach out today.