The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR) announced on Friday, September 5th that it has plans to hire another 20,000 permanent workers in stores across the country. The nation’s largest grocery chain, based in Cincinnati, Kroger currently employs 375,000 people and operates 2,640 stores in 34 states and the District of Columbia. The additional 20,000 employees will represent a 5.3% increase in total head count at the mega-grocer.

Kroger

Not counting the recent Harris Teeter acquisition, which resulted in another 25,000 associates showing up on the payroll, Kroger has created more than 40,000 permanent jobs during the last six years. The company has also hired over 22,500 veterans since 2009.

Statement from Kroger

In the statement accompanying today’s announcement, Katy Barclay, The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR)’s senior vice president of human resources, noted, “Kroger’s growth trajectory creates more job opportunities for current and future employees”.

She continued to say, “Right now in our stores across the country we have openings for bright, hard-working associates who are passionate about making a difference for customers every day.”

However, when asked, Barclay would not provide a firm time frame for the firm’s ongoing hiring push.

Recent corporate news for Kroger

The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR) has had a blowout year in 2014 — the company’s stock is close to an all-time high of $52.24, and is up more than 30% this year. Furthermore, the grocery giant has been steadily increasing its market share at the expense of rivals like Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) and Safeway Inc. (NYSE:SWY) for almost a decade, and finalized its $2.5 billion acquisition of North Carolina-based Harris Teeter earlier this year.

Based on corporate guidance and their analytical models, analyst consensus on Wall Street is that Kroger will make $1.6 billion in profit on sales of $107.9 billion in 2014, after enjoying a solid a $1.5 billion profit on $98.4 billion in sales in 2013. Although net margins slipped during the period, a $100 million in extra profits is certainly nothing to sneeze at.