Grocery chain operator Kroger announced that it is expecting to fill 20,000 permanent jobs in its supermarket divisions to replace vacant positions following store expansion through acquisitions.

Kroger’s growth trajectory creates more job opportunities for current and future employees.

Kroger’s human resources senior vice president Katy Barclay said: "Right now in our stores across the country we have openings for bright, hard-working associates who are passionate about making a difference for customers every day."

Kroger noted that it has already created more than 40,000 new jobs over the past six years, excluding the recent joining of about 25,000 associates from Harris Teeter and temporary construction jobs.

Earlier this year, Kroger completed the $2.44bn acquisition of Harris Teeter Supermarkets, and closed the $280m acquisition of online vitamin seller in early July.

Since 2009, the company also hired more than 22,500 veterans as part of a commitment by a consortium of more than 130 companies who pledged to provide jobs to more than 100,000 transitioning service members and military veterans by 2020.

Kroger has already closed two acquisitions this year and has grown its total number of supermarkets and multi-department stores to 2,640 in 34 states and the District of Columbia, employing more than 375,000 associates.

The company also operates 786 convenience stores, 320 fine jewelry stores, 1,240 supermarket fuel centers and 37 food processing plants in the US.