CINCINNATI, Nov. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) announced today it was named the 2013 Retailer of the Year by Wine EnthusiastMagazine. Wine Enthusiast selected Kroger for this recognition because of the company's "dynamic growth, dedication to wine, ability to foresee trends and customer service", the editors stated in a profile that can be viewed at http://www.winemag.com/Web-2013/2013-Retailer-of-the-Year-Kroger-Co/ or in the magazine on newsstands. "We are honored to receive recognition from the experts at Wine Enthusiast," said Michael J. Donnelly, Kroger's senior vice president of merchandising. "Kroger is focused on providing our customers with spectacular wine experiences – from our exclusive offerings such as Acronym to showcasing their favorite varieties from local wineries." Kroger sources wines from local vineyards, employs wine stewards in select stores to enhance the shopping experience, and advocates for customers where laws prevent access to wine in grocery stores. In Tennessee, for example, the company is advocating for expanded customer options through the Red, White and Food initiative, a grassroots effort to support legislation that would eventually allow customers the convenience of purchasing wine at their local grocery store. Wine Enthusiast has honored companies and individuals "whose vision has impacted the wine and spirits industries" with the Wine Star Awards annually since 2000. This is the first time Kroger has been honored by the magazine. Kroger, one of the world's largest retailers, employs 343,000 associates who serve customers in 2,418 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 31 states under two dozen local banner names including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Jay C, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry's, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith's. The company also operates 783 convenience stores, 326 fine jewelry stores, 1,195 supermarket fuel centers and 37 food processing plants in the U.S. Recognized by Forbes as the most generous company in America, Kroger supports hunger relief, breast cancer awareness, the military and their families, and more than 30,000 schools and grassroots organizations. Kroger contributes food and funds equal to 200 million meals a year through more than 80 Feeding America food bank partners. A leader in supplier diversity, Kroger is a proud member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber's Million Dollar Club. SOURCE The Kroger Co.