|This article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2013)|
|Traded as||NYSE: KR
S&P 500 Component
|Founded||Mount Airy, Cincinnati, Ohio (1883 )|
|Headquarters||Cincinnati, Ohio, United States|
|Number of locations||2,424 (2012)|
|Area served||United States|
|Key people||Rodney McMullen
(Chairman & CEO)
Other specialty, supermarket
|Revenue||$96.751 billion (2013)|
|Operating income||$2.763 billion (2013)|
|Net income||$1.497 billion (2013)|
|Total assets||$24.652 billion (2013)|
|Total equity||$4.207 billion (2013)|
The Kroger Company is an American retailer founded by Bernard Kroger in 1883 in Cincinnati, Ohio. By revenue, it is the country's largest supermarket chain, it is the second-largest general retailer (after Walmart), and it is the twenty-third largest company. Kroger is also the fifth largest retailer in the world. As of February 2013[update], Kroger operates, either directly or through its subsidiaries, 2,424 stores. Kroger's headquarters are in downtown Cincinnati. It maintains markets in 31 states, with store formats that include supermarkets, superstores, department stores, convenience stores, and mall jewelry stores. Kroger-branded grocery stores are located throughout the Midwestern and Southern United States. Kroger also is parent to several "banner" chains, such as Ralphs in California.
Kroger's employees are mostly represented by collective bargaining agreements. Seventy-five percent of Kroger employees are represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW).
- 1 History
- 2 Chains
- 3 Kroger Marketplace
- 4 Manufacturing
- 5 Private brands
- 6 Pharmacy Group
- 7 Supermarket Petroleum Group
- 8 Movie rentals
- 9 Distribution/Logistics
- 10 Financial services
- 11 Controversies
- 12 See also
- 13 References
- 14 External links
In 1883, Bernard 'Barney' Kroger invested his life savings of $372 (roughly equal to $9,415.59 today) to open a grocery store in the Mount Airy neighborhood of Cincinnati. Kroger was the son of a merchant, and his slogan was simple: Be particular. Never sell anything you would not want yourself. Kroger tried many ways to satisfy customers. He tried to make his own products, such as bread, so that customers would not need to go to a separate bakery.
In the 1930s, Kroger was the first grocery chain to monitor product quality and test foods offered to customers, and also the first to have a store surrounded on all four sides by parking lots.
In the mid-1950s, Kroger entered the Houston, Texas market by acquiring the Houston-based chain Henke & Pillot, and may now start feeling the heat from competitor H-E-B in this market. Nearly around the same time Kroger acquired Krambo of the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area, and Child's. The stores were eventually converted to the Kroger banner in the mid-1960s. Kroger exited Milwaukee in the 1970s. Speculation occurred that it would return to Milwaukee in 2008, when Roundy's was rumored to be for sale, but it never happened.
Kroger opened stores in Florida under the SupeRx and Florida Choice banners from the 1960s until 1986, when the chain decided to exit the state and sold all of its stores; Kash n' Karry bought the largest share. Recently, retail analysts have begun to speculate about whether Kroger may capitalize on the misfortunes of Albertsons and Food Lion and re-enter Florida again.
In the 1970s, Kroger became the first grocer in America to test an electronic scanner, and the first to formalize consumer research.
Although Kroger has long operated stores in the Huntsville-Decatur area of northern Alabama (as a southern extension of its Nashville, Tennessee, region), it has not operated in the state's largest market, Birmingham, since the early 1970s, when it exited as a result of intense competition from Winn-Dixie and local chains Bruno's Supermarkets and Western Supermarkets.
Kroger entered the Charlotte market in 1977 and expanded rapidly throughout the 1980s when it bought some stores from BI-LO. However, most stores were in less desirable neighborhoods and did not fit in with Kroger's upscale image. Less than three months after BI-LO pulled out, that company decided to re-enter the Charlotte market, and in 1988 Kroger announced it would leave the Charlotte market and put its stores up for sale. In an ironic twist, Ahold bought Kroger's remaining stores in the Charlotte area.
Kroger opened a number of stores in the Western Pennsylvania region, encompassing Pittsburgh and surrounding areas until the early 1980s, when the U.S. began experiencing a severe economic recession. The recession had two significant and related effects on Kroger's operations in the region. First, the highly cyclical manufacturing-based economy of the region declined in greater proportion than the rest of the U.S., which undercut demand for the higher-end products and services offered by Kroger. The second effect of the economic recession was to worsen labor-management relations which led to a protracted labor strike in 1983 and 1984. During the strike, Kroger withdrew all of its stores from the Western Pennsylvania market, including some recently opened "superstores" and "greenhouses." The new superstores in Western Pennsylvania, which included at least the one at North Huntingdon Township (Irwin, Pa.) and another at Cranberry Township, were Kroger's state-of-the-art facilities. They were equipped with optical (bar-code) check-out scanners that were new to the industry, and especially to the region. In addition to the usual meat/dairy/produce departments, they contained a separate bakery, deli, cheese shop, and seafood counter, amenities that have come to define the modern suburban grocery store. In an innovation that did not define future trends, the new superstores also included extensive non-foods departments that sold among other things, televisions, and other electronics. Hence, the closure of these newly opened, trend-setting facilities represented an abrupt retreat in the region.
Kroger's exit ceded the market to lower-cost, locally owned rivals, most notably Giant Eagle and the Supervalu-supplied Shop 'n Save and FoodLand chains. (Ironically, Kroger bought Eagle Grocery company, whose founders went on to create Giant Eagle.) Kroger still maintains a presence in the nearby Morgantown, West Virginia, Wheeling, West Virginia, and Weirton, West Virginia/Steubenville, Ohio areas where Giant Eagle has a much smaller presence and the Supervalu-supplied stores are virtually nonexistent, though in all of these cases Walmart remains a major competitor and Aldi is the only other supermarket with any market overlap.
The chain closed several stores around Flint, Michigan in 1981, which were converted by local businessman Al Kessel to a new chain called Kessel Food Markets. Kroger bought most of these stores back in 1999 and began reverting them. Several other Michigan stores were sold to another Flint-based chain, Hamady Brothers, in 1980. The Hamady acquisition was short-lived.
In 1983, The Kroger Company acquired Dillon Companies grocery chain in Kansas along with its subsidiaries, King Soopers, City Market, Fry's, Gerbes, and the convenience store chain Kwik Shop. David Dillon, a fourth-generation descendant of J.S. Dillon, the founder of Dillon Companies, is now the CEO of Kroger. In the 1990s, Kroger acquired Great Scott (Detroit), Pay Less Food Markets, Owen's Market, JayC Food Stores, and Hilander Foods.
In northeastern Ohio, Kroger had a plant in Solon, Ohio, which is a suburb of Cleveland, until the mid-1980s. When that plant shut down, Kroger closed its northeastern Ohio stores in the Cleveland, Akron and Youngstown areas. Some of those former Kroger stores were taken over by stores like Acme Fresh Markets, Giant Eagle and Heinens.
Safeway (excluding the Randalls chain) exited the Houston market in early 1988. It sold many of its own properties to Kroger, the market leader in the region, which is still followed by Randalls (now owned by Safeway) today.
Kroger also experienced a similar withdrawal from Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1989. Many of these stores were sold to the local grocery chain Red Food, which was in turn bought by BI-LO in 1994. Today, Chattanooga is the only metropolitan market in Tennessee in which Kroger does not operate.
1990s and beyond
In the late 1990s, it acquired many stores from Super Fresh as it exited many markets in the South.
Kroger also swapped all ten of its Greensboro, N.C.-area stores in 1999 to Matthews, N.C.-based Harris Teeter for 11 of that company's stores in central and western Virginia. Kroger still maintains a North Carolina presence in the Raleigh-Durham area. In the Raleigh-Durham area, Kroger closed its North Raleigh store in the Wakefield Commons shopping center on July 9, 2011 because the location failed to meet sales expectations. After the closure, Kroger will operate 16 stores in the Triangle. Kroger had a store in Greenville from the 1980s until 2010 when it sold it to Harris Teeter. A store in Wilson opened in 2002, but closed two years later.
Long the dominant grocer in western Virginia, Kroger entered the Richmond, Virginia market in 2000, where it competes against market leaders Martin's (including former Ukrop's stores) and Food Lion. Kroger entered the market by purchasing Hannaford stores that either already existed or were being built in Richmond. Hannaford purchases also included the competitive Hampton Roads market where it now competes with Farm Fresh, Harris Teeter, and Food Lion. The Hannaford locations in these markets were purchased from Delhaize by Kroger as a condition of Delhaize's 2000 acquisition of the Hannaford chain, which had previously competed against Food Lion, also owned by Delhaize. Wal-Mart Supercenters are also major competitors in both markets, and the chain briefly competed against Winn-Dixie, which has now exited Virginia.
In 2001, Kroger acquired Baker's from Fleming Companies, Inc.
Albertsons exited the San Antonio and Houston markets in early 2002, selling many of the Houston stores to Kroger.
On July 9, 2013, Kroger announced its acquisition of the 212 stores of Charlotte-based Harris Teeter in a deal valued at $2.5 billion and assume $100 million in the company's outstanding debt. Harris-Teeter's stores are in eight Southern states, with a major portion of them in its headquarters state of North Carolina. Doing so, Kroger acquired Harris Teeter’s click and collect program which allows online ordering of groceries. Some industry experts see this as a competitive move against online grocers such as AmazonFresh. The Harris Teeter acquisition marks Kroger's return to the Charlotte market after a 25-year absence.
On July 27, 2013, Kroger was rumored to be interested in purchasing the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company (A&P). Such a deal would provide Kroger new markets in the Northeast, where it has no presence.
On September 20, 2013, It was announced that David Dillon would be retiring as CEO of the Kroger Co. effective January 1, 2014 to be succeeded as CEO by W. Rodney McMullen, current COO of the company, and that David Dillon would remain on as Chairman of the Board through the end of 2014.
In 2013, Kroger announced the spouses of company's unionized workers would no longer be covered by the company's insurance plan. The company cited the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as a prime reason for the move. The benefit cut affects roughly 11,000 workers in Indiana. The company announced in April 2013 that full-time employees would maintain their health insurance benefits.
In 2014 Kroger launched a new campaign called fresh and friendly, where every kroger employee in retail should at least say hello in an attempt to gain a customer.
- Baker's Supermarkets (Omaha, Nebraska)
- City Market (Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico)
- Dillons Food Stores (Kansas, Missouri)
- Fry's Food & Drug (Arizona)
- Gerbes Super Markets (central Missouri)
- Harris Teeter (North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia)
- Jay C (southern Indiana)
- King Soopers (Colorado, Wyoming)
- Kroger (Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina ,Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia)
- Owen's (northeastern Indiana)
- Pay Less Super Markets (central Indiana)
- QFC (Oregon, Washington)
- Ralphs (Southern California)
- Scott's (Fort Wayne, Indiana)
- Smith's (Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming)
- Fred Meyer (Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington)
Price Impact Stores
- Food 4 Less (Southern California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Chicago, Illinois; NW Indiana, and they have a former location in Allentown, Pennsylvania and Tahlequah, Oklahoma)there is also one location in Fremont Nebraska (Food 4 Less stores elsewhere are owned by other companies)
- Foods Co. (Northern California)
- Ruler Foods (Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky)
- Dillons Marketplace
- Fry's Marketplace
- King Soopers Marketplace
- Kroger Marketplace
- Smith's Marketplace
- Fred Meyer Jewelers
- Barclay Jewelers
- Fox's Jewelers
- Littman Jewelers
- Kwik Shop (Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Tennessee, Mississippi)
- Loaf 'N Jug (Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Wyoming)
- Quik Stop (California, Nevada)
- Smith's Express (Utah)
- Tom Thumb Food Stores (Alabama, Florida)
- Turkey Hill Minit Markets (Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana)
- Barney's Food Warehouse (Tennessee) Chain run by Kroger in the 1980s.
- Cala Foods and Bell Markets (Northern California) Locations sold to DeLano's IGA, last Kroger-owned location closed in 2011
- Henke's (Texas) Acquired May 1955, name phased out in 1966
- Hilander Foods (Illinois) Acquired 1998, sold to Schnucks in 2011
- Kessel Food Markets (Michigan) Acquired and name phased out in 1999.
- Krambo (Wisconsin) Acquired in 1956, name phased out in 1966. Withdrew from Wisconsin in 1971.
- Market Basket (Southern California)
Kroger Marketplace is a chain of big-box stores. The brand was introduced in 2004 in the Columbus, Ohio area, which lost the Big Bear and Big Bear Plus chains in Penn Traffic's Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The Kroger Marketplace format is based on the Fry's Marketplace stores that the Arizona division of Kroger is currently operating.
Similar to rival chains Meijer, Sears Grand, Super Kmart, SuperTarget, Walmart Supercenter and Albertson's, and modeled after Kroger-owned Fred Meyer, these stores contain multiple departments. In addition to the grocery department, they contain a Fred Meyer Jewelers, Starbucks, Donatos Pizza, and an in-store bank, as well as sections for toys, appliances, home furnishings, and bed and bath, something that Big Bear once had in their stores in the Columbus area.
In 2005, the company began renovating many Kroger Food & Drug stores in Ohio to give out an expanded and remodeled look, converting them to the Kroger Marketplace format. In February 2006, Kroger announced plans for two new Kroger Marketplace stores to open by the end of the summer in Cincinnati suburbs Lebanon and Liberty Township. The store in Liberty Township opened in July 2006. On October 5, 2006, a new Kroger Marketplace opened in Gahanna. With the Gahanna opening, the number of Kroger Marketplace stores is six, four in the Columbus area and two in the Cincinnati area. Two more stores were planned in 2007, one in Middletown (which opened in April 2007, after the old store was razed and made part of the current parking lot) and one in Englewood.
In 2011, the Elder Beerman in Centerville, Ohio was torn down and a new marketplace has been built in its place with a fuel center and opened on December 8, replacing the 60,000 square foot store in the same shopping center. This newest marketplace is the largest Kroger store ever built to date at 147,000 square feet. Two more stores have opened in the Cincinnati area, in the Northern Kentucky suburbs of Hebron and Walton which were completed in November 2008. A Kroger Marketplace store has opened in Newport, Kentucky on December 10, 2009. Another renovated store has recently opened in Blue Ash, Ohio, and two more opened in Lexington, Kentucky, in 2009. Another store has been opened in Beavercreek, Ohio. A Mount Orab, Ohio store is planned to open in the spring of 2010. Kroger opened a new 60,000 sq ft (5,600 m2) store in North Augusta, South Carolina. The store includes a fuel center.
The first Kroger Marketplace store in Texas opened October 9, 2009, in the Waterside Marketplace in Richmond, Texas. The second Kroger Marketplace store in Rosenberg, Texas opened December 4, 2009. The third opened in Frisco, Texas in early 2010. The fourth Kroger Marketplace in Willis, Texas opened August 11, 2011. The next Kroger Marketplace stores in Texas are: in Little Elm, Texas; Fort Worth's Alliance Town Center; Wylie, Texas and Mansfield. Also recently added to the list is Wylie, Texas.
The first Kroger Marketplace store in Tennessee opened in Farragut, Tennessee (a small suburb outside of Knoxville) at the end of 2008, and a second store in Thompson's Station, Tennessee, (about 20 miles (32 km) south of Nashville) in early 2009. A third location opened in Gallatin, Tennessee, on March 11, 2010. On February 11, 2010, Kroger sold 4 Brookshire's stores in Jackson, Mississippi, which were Albertsons.
The first Kroger Marketplace in Arkansas opened in August 2010 on Chenal Parkway in Little Rock, Arkansas.
The first Kroger Marketplace in Virginia opened on Midlothian Turnpike in Richmond, Virginia, on the site of the former Cloverleaf Mall on December 6, 2012. Another Marketplace opened in Virginia Beach, Virginia, at the site of a former Super K-mart, on July 31, 2013.
The first Kroger Marketplace in Indiana opened on September 29, 2011, on Dupont Road on Fort Wayne's northwest side. This store is a rebuilt Kroger Food & Drug. A second Kroger Marketplace opened on October 4, 2012 from a rebuilt Scott's Food and Pharmacy in the Village at Coventry on the southwest side of Fort Wayne. These two stores are part of a $100 million expansion project in the Fort Wayne area.
The first Kroger Marketplace in Michigan opened on February 23, 2014, on 23 Mile Road in Shelby Township. The store will replace an older store across the street and will carry toys; home essentials; men's, women's and children's apparel, and shoes in addition to groceries.
In addition to stocking a variety of regional brand products, The Kroger Company also employs one of the largest networks of private label manufacturing in the country. Thirty-seven plants (either wholly owned or used with operating agreements) in seventeen states create about 40% of Kroger's private label products. Similar to most major supermarket retailers, Kroger uses a three-tiered private label marketing strategy. One private brand emphasizes no-frills products at the lowest possible price, another is intended to be comparable to leading national brands but a better value, and the third is a premium–often organic–brand.
Kroger operates 15 dairies, 2 ice cream plants, and 2 cheese plants:
- Centennial Farms Dairy - Atlanta, Georgia
- Compton Creamery - Compton, California
- Crossroad Farms Dairy - Indianapolis, Indiana
- Heritage Farms Dairy - Murfreesboro, Tennessee
- Jackson Dairy - Hutchinson, Kansas
- Jackson Ice Cream - Denver, Colorado
- King Soopers Dairy - Denver, Colorado
- Layton Dairy - Layton, Utah
- Michigan Dairy - Livonia, Michigan
- Pace Dairy of Indiana - Crawfordsville, Indiana
- Pace Dairy of Minnesota - Rochester, Minnesota
- Riverside Creamery - Riverside, California
- Swan Island Dairy - Portland, Oregon
- Tamarack Farms Dairy - Newark, Ohio
- Tolleson Dairy - Tolleson, Arizona
- Turkey Hill Dairy - Conestoga, Pennsylvania
- Vandervoort Dairy - Fort Worth, Texas
- Westover Dairy - Lynchburg, Virginia
- Winchester Farms Dairy - Winchester, Kentucky
Kroger operates 6 bakeries, 2 frozen dough plants and 1 deli plant:
- Anderson Bakery - Anderson, South Carolina
- Clackamas Bakery - Clackamas, Oregon
- Columbus Bakery - Columbus, Ohio
- Country Oven Bakery - Bowling Green, Kentucky
- Indianapolis Bakery - Indianapolis, Indiana
- KB Specialty Foods - Greensburg, Indiana
- King Soopers Bakery - Denver, Colorado
- La Habra Bakery - La Habra, California
- Layton Dough Plant - Layton, Utah
Kroger operates 5 grocery and 2 beverage plants:
- America's Beverage Co. - Irving, Texas - soft drinks, waters
- Delight Products Co. - Springfield, Tennessee - dry dog and cat foods
- Kenlake Foods - Murray, Kentucky - nuts, hot cereal, cornmeal, powdered drinks
- Pontiac Foods - Columbia, South Carolina - coffee, seasonings, spices, rice, noodles, sauces
- Springdale Ice Cream & Beverage - Springdale, Ohio - soft drinks, waters, ice cream
- State Avenue - Cincinnati, Ohio - salad dressings, red sauces, syrups, broths, jams and jellies
- Tara Foods - Albany, Georgia - peanut butter, flavorings, steak sauces, vinegar, cooking wines, lemon juice, soy sauce
Kroger operates 2 meat plants:
- King Soopers Meat - Denver, Colorado
- Vernon Meat - Vernon, California
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Kroger brand products are produced and sold in three quality tiers:
- Private Selection - premium quality brand
- Banner Brands (such as Kroger, Ralphs, King Soopers) - the majority of the 11,000 items stocked in stores
- Value brand - good quality at an affordable price
The Kroger Value line of products was introduced in 1981 by the name of Cost Cutter and was known for its near-generic product labeling. It was then succeeded by FMV, which was a backronym to mean For Maximum Value, originally meaning Fred Meyer Value. It offered staple products such as sugar, flour, bread, and canned goods at the lowest price for that particular product in the store. Though some FMV products (such as their cheese made with water and partially hydrogenated soybean oil) use a lower-quality manufacturing process, other products appear to be indistinguishable from their banner brand equivalent (FMV sugar and Kroger sugar, for example) other than the price.
In early 2007, Kroger replaced FMV with the new Kroger Value brand. This has led to a situation where Kroger brand and Kroger Value brand products are sold side-by-side with little to distinguish them except for packaging and price. The brand change departed from the typical orange-fade-to-yellow labels and is now simply white with blue and red. Since then Kroger has expanded the line to many other items, such as frozen food, butter, dog and cat food, ice cream, paper towels, bleach, and other food and household items. Most Kroger Value brand items are bilingually labeled (in English and Spanish).
Banner Brands, goods that bear the name of Kroger or its subsidiaries (i.e., Ralphs, King Soopers, etc.) or make reference to them (i.e., Big K) are offered with a "Try it, Like it, or Get the National Brand Free" guarantee, where if the customer does not believe the Kroger brand product is as good as the national brand, they can exchange the unused portion of the product with their receipt for the equivalent national brand for free. Many of Kroger's health and beauty goods, one of the company's fastest-growing private label categories, are manufactured by third-party providers; these products include goods like ibuprofen and contact lens solution.
Products marked Private Selection are offered to compare with gourmet brands or regional brands that may be considered more upscale than the standard Kroger brand products.
While the Private Selection name includes many products, two of the most popular Private Selection items are ice cream and deli meat.
Simple Truth Organic
Simple Truth Organic is a brand offered to compare with other organic brands with often simpler packaging and is becoming larger in 2014 as a part of kroger's marketing.
Other private label brands
As well as the major grocery brands, Kroger's manufacturing creates a variety of general merchandise brands. These are featured especially in Fred Meyer stores, where more than half the goods sold are non-food, or in the smaller Fred Meyer-based Marketplace stores. The following brands might be found in various Kroger-owned stores:
- SuperKids - IronKids bread competitor
- Springdale - milk by the gallon
- Mountain Dairy - milk by the gallon (QFC, Fred Meyer, Smith's, Fry's and Ralphs)
- Sungold - sweet and unsweet gallon jug tea
- Thirst Rockers - imitation juice (water, high fructose corn syrup, 0% juice)
- Country Club - butter
- Wholesome @ Home - new name to include all private label products(pizza, pasta, sides, etc.)
- Your Deli Selection - baked beans, coleslaw, potato salad
Drug & General Merchandise
- HD Designs – upscale home goods
- MotoTech – automotive supplies
- Office Works – stationery and office supplies
- Splash Sport, Splash Spa, and Bath & Body Therapies – bath and body supplies
- Comforts For Baby - baby and infant supplies, diapers
- Country Club - real butter sticks, half-gallon ice cream/frozen yogurt (Discontinued in Scotts Food and Pharmacy stores)
- Old Fashioned - gallon tub ice cream/frozen yogurt
Grocery and General Merchandise
- aromaFUSIONS - air freshener supplies, scented candles
- Big K - soda, cooler drinks, sparkling water
- Crystal Clear - flavored sparkling water
- Disney's Old Yeller - dry dog food
- Disney's Aristocats - wet cat food
- Everyday Living – kitchen gadgets & cleaning supplies, furniture
- On the House - margarita and other drink mixes
- Pet Pride - dry dog and cat food, cat litter
- Tempo - laundry detergent and fabric softener
Whole Health (Nutrition)
- Simple Truth – organic and natural foods
Disney Magic Selections
In 2006, Kroger partnered with the consumer products division of The Walt Disney Company to add the Disney Magic Selections line to its private label offerings. In reality, many of these products have been substituted in place of Kroger's Signature brand equivalents on the shelf, often with an increase in price. With packaging featuring animated Disney and Pixar characters, such as Mickey Mouse as Chef Mickey, these products are marketed to help promote healthy eating among children. Most of the approximately one hundred initial products contain zero grams of trans fat and include food offerings such as yogurt, breakfast foods, and small fresh fruit cups. This product offering was phased out and re-replaced with Kroger Brand product.
Kroger previously owned and operated the SupeRx drug store chain. In 1985, Kroger outbid Rite Aid for the Hook's Drug Stores chain, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, and combined it with SupeRx to become Hook's-SupeRx. In 1994, Kroger decided to get out of the stand-alone drug-store business, and sold its SupeRx stores to Revco, which later was sold to CVS.
Today, Kroger operates more than 1,948 pharmacies. Most of them are located inside its supermarkets. The Kroger Pharmacies continue as a profitable portion of the business, and have been expanding to now include pharmacies in City Market, Dillons, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs, Smith’s Food and Drug, and Kroger Supermarkets.
Supermarket Petroleum Group
Since 1998, Kroger has added fuel centers in the parking lots of its supermarkets. As of the first quarter of 2013, Kroger operated 1,182 supermarket fuel centers. In 2006, Kroger introduced a new common logo for all of its convenience store chains that is now also used at the fuel centers of all of its supermarket chains—a rhombus with a white, stylized image of the continental United States in the center bordered by four colored areas: dark blue representing the Pacific Ocean; red representing Canada; green representing the Atlantic Ocean; and yellow representing the Gulf of Mexico.
Most Kroger locations now feature Redbox movie rental kiosks. Previously, some Kroger locations featured kiosks from The New Release (aka Moviecube); most of these kiosks have since been replaced by Redbox kiosks. Also, until 2012, Kroger locations in the Columbus, Ohio area featured kiosks by Blockbuster Express (originally DVD Play).
Food distribution and buying takes place under various subsidiaries and divisions. These include:
- Kroger Group Cooperative, Inc.
- Kroger Group, Inc.
- Inter-American Products
Kroger operates its own fleet of trucks and trailers to distribute products to its various stores, in addition to contracts with various trucking companies.
Kroger Personal Finance was introduced in 2007 to offer various stores' branded Visa; mortgages; home equity loans; pet, renter's and home insurance, identity theft protection and wireless services. In 2011, Kroger dropped its contract with MasterCard, and now offers store credit and debit cards through Visa.
i-wireless (Wireless services)
i-wireless is a national private label wireless service provider sold in over 2,200 retail locations within the Kroger family of stores across 31 states. i-wireless allows customers to accrue minutes on their i-wireless phone in exchange for using their shopper's card on qualifying purchases. The i-wireless service functions over the Nationwide Sprint Network. Customers can choose from monthly, unlimited, or pay-per-use plans that do not have contracts, activation fees, or the ability to roam.
In 2008, Greenpeace started ranking America’s major supermarket chains on their seafood sustainability practices because, according to Phil Radford, Greenpeace U.S. CEO, “three quarters of global fish stocks are suffering from overfishing, and 90% of top marine predators are already gone.” Criteria included the number of threatened fish species supermarkets sold, their seafood purchasing policies, and ocean legislation policies they supported. In 2013, Kroger was noted for carrying 17 out of 22 red list species, four of which are top-tier red list species.
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- Kroger-branded stores website
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- Inter-American Products website