10 Things You Didn't Know About Kroger from 10 Things You Didn't Know About Kroger

10 Things You Didn't Know About Kroger

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10 Things You Didn't Know About Kroger

Kroger

10 Things You Didn't Know About Kroger

If you live in the American Midwest or South, you most likely do your grocery shopping at your local Kroger, the country’s largest supermarket chain by revenue, the second-largest general retailer behind Walmart, and the 23rd largest company. But have you ever stopped to think about the history of this mega-chain? We bet that there’s a lot you didn’t know about this legendary supermarket. 

Barney Kroger Narrowly Escaped Being Ruined in the Crash of 1929

Barney Kroger Narrowly Escaped Being Ruined in the Crash of 1929

Kroger invested in the creation of Provident Bank, and sold his holdings in the company in 1928. He also played a large role in helping to avert a bank crisis in 1933; when a local branch was threatened with a bank run, Kroger withdrew $13 million of his own savings in cash and displayed it at the bank, quelling any fears.

It Was the First Store to Be Surrounded by Parking Lots

Photo Modified: Flickr / Nicholas Eckhart / CC BY 4.0

It Was the First Store to Be Surrounded by Parking Lots

Among Kroger’s additional innovations, it was also the first supermarket to be surrounded on all sides with parking lots. 

It Also Owns a Huge Variety of Other Supermarkets, Convenience Stores, and Jewelry Stores

Ralph’s

It Also Owns a Huge Variety of Other Supermarkets, Convenience Stores, and Jewelry Stores

Kroger also owns some other major groceries and superstores (including Dillons, Harris Teeter, Ralph’s, Smith’s, and Fred Meyer); convenience stores (including Kwik Shop, Loaf ‘N Jug, and Tom Thumb Food Stores); jewelry stores (Barclay, Fox’s, and Littman), and even a convenient care clinic chain called The Little Clinic.

It Owns One of the Largest Private Label Networks in America

Private Selection / Facebook

It Owns One of the Largest Private Label Networks in America

Kroger owns 37 plants in 17 states, including dairies, bakeries, grocery plants, beverage plants, and meat plants. The company’s private label brands include P$$T…, Check This Out...; Heritage Farm; Banner Brands; Private Selection; and Simple Truth Organic. 

Its Private Label Once Included Disney-Branded Products

Disney

Its Private Label Once Included Disney-Branded Products

For several years starting in 2006, Kroger offered a line called Disney Magic Selections through a partnership with The Walt Disney Company. Many of the products were the same ones that had been on its shelves with private label branding previously, and were simply given new Disney-branded packaging and an increased price. 

It Operates More than 1,000 Gas Stations

Photo Modified: Flickr / Nicholas Eckhart / CC BY 4.0

It Operates More than 1,000 Gas Stations

Kroger constructed its first gas station on the grounds of one of its supermarkets in 1998, and today there are more than 1,000 supermarket fuel centers. 

It Offers Financial and Wireless Services

It Offers Financial and Wireless Services

Kroger introduced Kroger Personal Finance in 2007; through a partnership with Visa it offers store-branded credit cards, mortgages, home equity loans, insurance, and identity theft protection. Shoppers can also sign up for i-wireless at more than 2,000 Kroger-owned stores in 31 states; the plans include monthly, unlimited, or pay-per use, and there are no contracts or activation fees. Customers can also get free minutes by using their shopper’s card. 

It Launched In-Store Craft Beer Taps

It Launched In-Store Craft Beer Taps

At select stores in Cincinnati; Arizona; Atlanta; and Columbus, customers can buy local, draft-only beers from growler bars and craft beer stations, which also sell wine. 

It Is the Exclusive Retailer of Pumpkin Spice Twinkies

It Is the Exclusive Retailer of Pumpkin Spice Twinkies

Want Pumpkin Spice Twinkies?  You’ll have to pick them up at your local Kroger, the only place to buy them. You better hurry, though; they’ll be available only through the fall. 

There Have Been 12 Shootings on Kroger Grounds Since 2012

Photo Modified: Flickr / Stephen Z / CC BY-SA 4.0

There Have Been 12 Shootings on Kroger Grounds Since 2012

In response to the high number of shootings, a gun control organization called Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America began a campaign to pressure Kroger to ban the open carry of firearms in all its stores. The company refused to comply, saying, "If the local gun laws are to allow open carry, we’ll certainly allow customers to do that based on what the local laws are.” 

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10 Things You Didn't Know About Kroger

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