Over the past decade, the growth and success of Kroger has been absolutely extraordinary. Over the many years, Kroger has proven to be extremely aggressive, fierce, competitive, and innovative, and because of this, it has grown to be the second largest retailer in the United States, just behind Walmart. Take a look at some of these surprising things I bet you never even knew about Kroger!
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1. The origins of Kroger are unbelievable!
Source: History in Photos
Perhaps the most surprising and extraordinary thing about Kroger is the way it started. In 1883 in Cincinnati, Ohio, a man named Barney Kroger used his entire life savings of $372 to start and open a grocery store. When Barney Kroger first opened this grocery store back in 1883, I highly doubt he ever dreamed that it would become all that it has. Today, Kroger has an enterprise value of over $45 billion.
2. Kroger owns and operates 25 different supermarket chains throughout the country.
It’s not just Kroger! There are 24 other supermarkets that Kroger owns and operates as well; 2,700 stores in all! While Kroger itself exists in Florida, Texas, West Virginia, Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, Michigan, Mississippi, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee, the other stores that Kroger operates can be found in many other states! Some of the additional stores include Harris Teeter, Smith’s, Ralph’s, Fred Meyer, Food 4 Less, King Soopers, JayC Food Stores, City Market, Owens, Quality Food Centers (QFC), Bakers’, Price Rite, Scott’s Food & Pharmacy, Gerbes, Foods Co, Fry’s Food and Drug, Pay Less Super Markets, and Dillons.
3. Kroger falls within the top 5 drug stores in the United States.
Considering Kroger isn’t actually even a drugstore, this is pretty impressive if you ask me! Last year, in 2015, Kroger’s various chains filled more than 175 million prescriptions, adding up to a total of nearly $10 billion worth of prescriptions! Taking its place at number 5, Kroger landed in front of some of its rivals including Costco and Albertsons. The only companies Kroger can’t seem to pull ahead of yet are actual healthcare companies like CVS.
4. There are tons of other products you can buy from Kroger chains, like gas and jewelry.
Groceries and prescription drugs aren’t the only things you can get from Kroger stores. Did you know that Kroger also owns and operates over 300 jewelry stores (Littman Jewelers and Fred Meyer Jewelers)? In fact, Fred Meyer has grown to be the third largest chain of jewelry stores in the country! Kroger is a also a major gas station operator, as it operates over 1,300 gas stations that generate around $20 billion annually. In addition, the Fry’s Marketplace, King Soopers Marketplace, Dillons Marketplace, Kroger Marketplace, Smith’s Marketplace, and Fred Meyer all sell clothing, furniture, jewelry, electronics, small appliances, hardware, garden supplies, office supplies, paint, and toys. Not many stores can say that they offer all of these things in one place! At Fred Meyer, you can even find brands such as Adidas, Nike, Sony, and Apple. Did we mention that Kroger also operates its own wireless telephone company called I Wireless? Kroger is a jack of all trades, I guess!
5. There are many areas of the United States in which Kroger chains don’t exist at all.
First, there are no Kroger stores in New York, Pennsylvania, or any of the states in the New England region. Second, there is only one Kroger store (Harris Teeter) in Florida, which is the third-most populated state in the country. And third, there are no Kroger stores in some of the nation’s most populated metropolitan areas including Chicago, Des Moines, Milwaukee, Tulsa City, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, and El Paso. This is quite surprising, considering the size, growth, and popularity of all of the Kroger chains and stores, but I guess it just means that there is lots of room for Kroger to continue expanding!