LAKEWOOD, Colo., Oct. 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Natural Grocers®, the nation’s largest family-operated natural and organic grocery retailer, reaches another milestone in its commitment to its good4uSM Crew, announcing pay increases for hourly store Crew members across its 162 stores in 20 states. All current hourly store Crew members received a $1.00 per hour pay increase starting on October 4, 2021, which raised the company-wide average hourly pay for full-time Crew to $18.43, including $1.00 per hour in Vitamin Bucks. Additionally, the company is increasing the starting wage for new hourly store Crew, effective October 18, 2021, boosting the hourly pay rate for entry-level positions to a range of $14.00 – $18.00, including Vitamin Bucks[i]. The wage increases are the most recent example of Natural Grocers enduring ethos of commitment to its Crew—the most vital part of this family-operated business.
“Competitive pay, helping provide our Crew members a wage and benefits package that we believe is one of the best in the retail grocery business is the most meaningful investment we can make,” commented Kemper Isely, Natural Grocers’ Chairman and Co-President. “It’s rooted in our Five Founding Principles, including ‘Commitment to our good4u Crew,’ and ‘Commitment to our Community.’ When we can retain people who are aligned with our values and provide growth-oriented career opportunities—we are investing in our community as well.”
The Isely family cares deeply about Crew members’ health and well-being and has cultivated an empowering workplace culture, including competitive pay and comprehensive benefits, since Natural Grocers first opened its doors. To this end, the company is continuously evolving its support of the good4u Crew and their families, now and into the future. Some of the long-standing and recent ways the company is supporting its Crew include:
- The Natural Grocers family feeds family: Vitamin Bucks are a unique benefit within the retail industry that have evolved with the company through the years. All full-time and part-time Crew members earn $1.00 for each hour worked to help purchase their supplements, groceries, body care, and more, and substantial Crew discounts are given in addition to Vitamin Bucks.
- Beyond traditional benefit packages: Holiday Pay, Birthday Pay, Employee Discounts, Paid Time Off, a Retirement Savings Plan (401k) with discretionary company match and Paid Parental and Medical Leave are some of the features of Natural Grocers’ attractive benefit packages, along with comprehensive Medical, Dental and Vision Insurance for Crew and their dependents, and Company Paid Short-Term Disability Insurance.
- Fast-tracking career advancement: The company created its Store Manager Accelerated Readiness Training (SMART) Program, a nine-month fast-tracked training program to promote the career advancement of highly motivated Crew members. The company also has industry stand-out programs for career growth including Paid Nutrition Education, Advancement Opportunities and Career Development.
- Caring for Crew in distress: Earlier this year, the Natural Grocers Heroes in Aprons Fund, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, was established. The Heroes in Aprons Fund provides short-term financial assistance to good4u Crew members or their immediate family members who have encountered severe economic hardship due to sickness, natural disasters, or other unforeseen circumstances.
- Hero Pay: In March 2020, Natural Grocers recognized the Crew’s extraordinary efforts and commitment to keeping their communities rooted in health during the pandemic by instituting a hero pay and bonus program, which included a permanent $1 per hour pay increase for hourly Crew. The incremental cost of these pay enhancements was more than $18 million as of September 30, 2021.
“Our mission of educating our communities about good nutrition and affordable, healthy food is more critical now than ever, and it’s fueled, as always, by our Crews’ dedication, talent, and hard work. We’re grateful to each and every one of them for sharing their unique gifts with us in this journey of making our neighborhoods and our planet a healthier place,” remarked Natural Grocers Executive Vice President Heather Isely. “Supporting our Crew with competitive wages and a robust benefits package is just one way of showing our appreciation for the Crew’s extraordinary efforts and commitment to keeping their communities rooted in health.”
Current job openings include Cashier and Head Cashier, Grocery and Bulk Department Manager, Produce Department Assistant, Receiving Manager, Vitamin and Body Care Assistant, and Nutritional Health Coach. To apply and learn more about careers at Natural Grocers, visit www.naturalgrocers.com/our-careers.
About Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage
Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Inc. (NYSE: NGVC) is an expanding specialty retailer of natural and organic groceries, body care products, and dietary supplements. The products sold by Natural Grocers must meet strict quality guidelines and may not contain artificial colors, flavors, preservatives or sweeteners, or partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated oils. The Company sells only USDA certified organic produce and exclusively pasture-raised, non-confinement dairy products, and free-range eggs. Natural Grocers’ flexible smaller-store format allows it to offer affordable prices in a shopper-friendly, safe, and convenient retail environment. The Company also provides extensive free science-based Nutrition Education programs to help customers make informed health and nutrition choices. The Company, founded in 1955, has 162 stores in 20 states.
iStarting rates increase based on position and level of responsibility. Pay rates vary by location; States and cities with higher cost of living will have higher starting rates.
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SOURCE Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Inc.