Managing a new store in a great location with a great staff was a store manager’s dream. We excessed both our sale budgets and profit budget during the first year of the store’s opening. As far as the first-year results of a new store opening, we had one of the best in the entire division. Sales were great but the profit from these sales were even greater. Our inventories always came back great and our hourly usage to sales percentage was one of the best in the division. I was put on the company’s shrink team and would visit and conduct store walks to help other stores solve their bad inventories issue. I had several members of my staff promoted to other stores as department heads and one assistance became a store manager of another store. My yearly evaluation was not outstanding but excellent, which was almost impossible to achieve.
After the great results of the first year our sales started to level off. Profits were still great, but the sale growth was not as great as it was during the first year. We kept the store conditions as great as we always had in the past and our customer service was still the best in the area. However, at that time on the new housing was being developed on the other side of town and the now older store was seeing the store sale growth. During this period, I also had remarried and had my sons living with us as well as our new daughter. I had even started back in church and even though I did could not teach a Sunday School class I would usually have a lot of input in the discussions. I had finally achieved the goals I had been going after these last few years.
Then I received the unexpected call to come to the Central Office to met with my zone manager for a short meeting. The short meeting ended up being over three hours long. I was told I was going to be relocated to a different store and a reduced position. I ask why and they stated that it was best for the company and me. After twenty years with the company, working in four different states and eighteen different stores I refused this relocation because I had the store of my dreams. However, the store of my dreams was not my store, but the company’s store and I had no chose in the matter. Pride kicked in and I refused to give up my dream store, so I found my self without a job for the first time in sixteen years. Afterward I went back to clean out my office and informed my staff that I was leaving they were speechless. As one department head stated that you would bleed the Kroger’s True-Blue color.
However, I had a peace that everything would be OK. I knew I was great and would bounce back again.