Covington Kroger employee bags fourth in competition

Photo by Corinne Nicholson

Photo by Corinne Nicholson

COVINGTON -- Covington Kroger employee Colby Hines showed off his bagging skills last week.

Hines, an employee of the Covington Kroger on U.S. Highway 278, participated in the 2010 All-Star Bag-Off competition last Tuesday at the Kroger on Atlanta Highway in Loganville.

The competition is an event where Georgia's top grocery baggers show off their speed, technique, accuracy of bagging and overall customer service.

Hines, a 2010 graduate of Dutchtown High School in Hampton, has been an employee at the Covington Kroger for nearly two years. This was his first year participating in the All-Star Bag-Off competition.

Along with nine other employees from Krogers across the state, Hines was nominated to compete by his store managers, based on who they felt was best qualified.

"I'm glad I got picked -- it's always something fun to do," Hines said.

He took first in the plastic bag category and came out fourth in the overall competition.

Participants were judged on overall skill, including weight distribution and ability to meet a time limit.

"Appearance and attitude were also factored into the judging," said Glynn Jenkins, director of communications and public relations for Kroger's Atlanta Division.

This year, Kroger incorporated its new reusable "earth friendly" shopping bags into the competition, due to their increasing popularity among customers.

The top three baggers were awarded college scholarships and the winner will represent Kroger at the Georgia Food Industry Association competition later this summer in Orlando, Fla.

Kroger has held bag-off competitions for the last 15 years. They provide a great opportunity to "recognize the talent of a group of associates who are on the forefront of caring for our customers," said Jenkins.

The company, headquartered in Atlanta, is one of the Southeast's largest retail grocery chains with more than 216 stores covering Georgia, eastern Tennessee, northern Alabama and South Carolina.

Hines plans to attend Gordon College in the fall and major in business management.