CINCINNATI (AP) — Kroger is hiring 11,000 workers, up about 1,000 from last year.

The nation’s largest grocery chain by revenue is locked in a fierce competition with, which acquired Whole Foods last year, as well as Walmart and Target.

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(credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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The company said Tuesday that almost 2,000 of the jobs are management positions. It hired 12,000 people in 2016 and currently has nearly 500,000 employees and 2,800 grocery stores.

Kroger Co. is earmarking $500 million for employee pay, training and development over the next three years.

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Shares of the Cincinnati company added 3 cents to $23.59 in afternoon trading.