Labaris “LB” Conner is a testament that patience does pay off.
Sitting in his office at West Point’s Kroger grocery store on Monday, Conner recalled how in 1996 he was given a shot at bagging groceries at his local Kroger in Columbus. Today he’s the head man in charge in West Point’s store, and besides trying to get the local store into the black budget-wise, Conner has an opportunity to give local teenagers the same shot at a career he got 16 years ago.
“I could have 20 people here,” Conner said. “I may get three out of those 20, but if I can reach those three, my job is done.”
Conner is a graduate of Columbus High School and East Mississippi Community College, but he learned a lot of his work skills and the things that make a business good from Kroger, and he’s passing those things on to the workers here in West Point.
“I tell them to tuck in their shirts, and that posture and appearance go a long way,” Conner said. “It’s about being professional, courteous and out-going to the customers.”
Conner places a great deal on customer service.
“I tell my people to treat the customers like they were their own family,” he said. “I tell them to treat the elderly like it was their mother or grandmother. I want them to treat others like they would like to be treated.”
Conner says that he got his first job at Kroger when his aunt, who was already working there asked the manager if he needed some additional help.
Conner says that job back then was the next step down from jobs like Bryan Foods plant work.
“It was like a lot of factory jobs around here,” he said. “You just had to get that job.”
Conner was hooked on the Kroger brand of customer service immediately.
“They pride themselves on good customer service,” Conner said. “That means that you hire good employees that can deliver that customer service.”
Conner has now worked at all of the Kroger stores in the Golden Triangle area, including co-manager in Starkville for two years.
He says that his main goal besides customer service is getting Kroger back in shape financially.
“I want this store to stay open,” he said. “West Point needs this store, and Kroger needs this store too.”
Conner is not only an esteemed business man, but a loving husband of 14 years to Mrs. Andrea Conner and a father of three lovely daughters Justice Conner (15), Jada Conner (12) and Taylor Conner (9). Aside from ensuring that your West Point Kroger store shelves are fully stocked, product is fresh and service is friendly, he enjoys relaxing with his daughters and his wife.