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.
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.
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.
Private Selection / Facebook
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.
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.
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.
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.”