NORWALK, Conn., Jan. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- FORTUNE magazine announced their list of 2010's "100 Best Companies to Work For" today, and family-owned and operated fresh food grocer Stew Leonard's has once again earned a spot on this prestigious list, coming in No. 64. The rankings, available now at http://www.fortune.com, appear in the February issue.
While the economy posed many challenges for businesses this year, Stew Leonard's commitment to their nearly 2,500 Team Members remained unwavering. In the company's 40 year history, Stew Leonard's has never under gone layoffs and this year made certain that cost-saving initiatives did not negatively impact the Team. Rather than cutting jobs or hours, the company developed a plan to maintain Team Member salary increases, bonuses and profit sharing while controlling costs in other areas.
Stew Leonard Sr. said, "Of course, many companies find it easy to control costs by laying people off. At Stew's, we believe the opposite! We believe that we are all in the same boat together...The Customer, The Employee and the Employer. We do not believe in lay offs. Our commitment is that we all just have to work a little bit harder to give our customers the very best that is possible and create as many happy customers as we can. Happy customers come back again and again."
"We continuously strive to make Stew Leonard's a better place to work; each year looking for new ways to recognize and thank our Team Members for their hard work and dedication," said Stew Leonard, Jr. CEO of Stew Leonard's. "We've implemented extensive training and mentoring programs to help our Team excel and grow within the company and have been rewarded with tremendous loyalty and longevity—something that makes us all very proud."
With the support of the entire Team, Stew Leonard's was able to maintain last year's revenue levels and increase customer traffic despite the challenging economy. In addition, Stew Leonard's expanded their leadership development process, created to groom Team Members for leadership opportunities. Also, as part of Stew Leonard's dedication to the Team, the health and wellness program was augmented and the company earned the American Heart Association's Fit-Friendly Gold Level designation and a personal success for one Team Member who lost 75 pounds.
"One of our most important mandates is to create and sustain an environment that fosters success, advancement and fun," said Jill Leonard Tavello, Executive Vice President of Culture and Communication. "This year we had a huge celebration for Team Member Appreciation Day because we truly value the amazing people that come to work everyday with a smile on their face and an enthusiasm that makes Stew Leonard's a great shopping experience."
Stew Leonard's by the numbers:
- Awarded more than $500,000 in scholarships to high school student Team Members
- 52 number of current Team Members who met spouses at Stew's
- 31% of Team Members have a family member working at Stew's
- 82% of managers are promoted from within
- Team Members receive 50 hours of training each year
Stew Leonard's, the Norwalk, Connecticut-based food retailer, is famous for its customer service, workplace excellence and innovative and award-winning products. More on the company and its founder, Stew Leonard Sr., can be learned in the recently published book Stew Leonard, My Story, available in stores or at www.stewleonards.com.
About Stew Leonard's
Stew Leonard's, a family-owned and operated fresh food store founded in 1969, has four stores in Norwalk, Danbury, and Newington, Conn. and Yonkers, N.Y. Stew's earned its nickname, the "Disneyland of dairy stores" because of its country-fair atmosphere, with costumed characters and animated entertainment throughout the store that keep children entertained while parents shop. Stew Leonard's legion of loyal shoppers is largely due to the stores' passionate approach to customer service: "Rule #1 -- The Customer is Always Right"; Rule #2 – If the Customer is Ever Wrong, Re-Read Rule #1." This principle is so essential to the foundation of the company that it is etched in a three-ton granite rock at each store's entrance. The company's culture is built around an acronym for S.T.E.W.: Satisfy the customer; Teamwork gets it done; Excellence makes it better; WOW makes it fun. For more information, visit Stew Leonard's website at www.stewleonards.com.
SOURCE Stew Leonard's