The world’s largest retailer of foodstuffs is expanding its operations into a food hub, a move that could help Hankook’s business expand further as it seeks to diversify into other markets.
The grocer, with nearly 7,000 stores across the United States, Canada and Mexico, announced the expansion Monday, saying it will open two more stores in the Los Angeles area, and another in Miami.
The chain has been expanding in the U.S. and Canada, particularly in Los Angeles and San Diego.
In the past, the chain has expanded into food delivery and wholesale.
Hankook is the nation’s largest grocery retailer, with more than 70,000 grocery stores, about 10% of the U,S.
The Los Angeles-based grocer is also the world’s third-largest by sales, with about 2.4 million stores, and has about 2,400 employees.
The expansion comes at a time when the company is facing a slew of regulatory and political challenges.
In October, it announced it would lay off some employees and cut more than 6,000 jobs in the next several years.
Hankooks board also recommended layoffs of about 6,700 workers, including some in its marketing and business development functions, as it considers the need for more cash to fund the company’s expansion.
The company also announced plans to add about 2 million square feet of warehouse space in the coming years.
The retailer has been investing heavily in new technology and is planning a $20 billion expansion of its food processing facilities.
“This is the beginning of a big investment in new technologies and new processes, which will help us grow our grocery business and grow our footprint,” Hankook CEO Jim McBride said in a statement.
“We are going to be able to meet the growing demand for more fresh foods, and we will be able continue to be a leader in the fast-growing food industry.
Hankonks mission to transform the grocery industry is on track to be accomplished, and it is a great day for our shareholders.”
The chain also said it would expand into fresh produce, as well as the meat industry.
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