|Type||Public (NYSE: KR)|
|Headquarters||Cincinnati, Ohio, United States|
|Key people||David Dillon, CEO & Chairman|
|Products||Bakery, banking, beer, dairy, deli, frozen foods, gasoline (select locations), general merchandise, liquor (select locations), meat, pharmacy, produce, seafood, wine|
|Revenue||▲ US$76.0 Billion (FY 2009)|
|Operating income||▲ US$2.45 Billion (FY 2009)|
|Net income||▲ US$1.25 Billion (FY 2009)|
|Total assets||▲ US$23.2 Billion (FY 2009)|
|Total equity||▲ US$5.18 Billion (FY 2009)|
|Website||Kroger corporate website
Kroger-branded stores website
The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) is an American retail supermarket chain and parent company, founded by Bernard Kroger in 1883 in Cincinnati, Ohio. It reported US$76 billion in sales during fiscal year 2008. It is the country's largest grocery store chain and its second-largest grocery retailer by volume  and second-place general retailer in the country, with Wal-Mart being the largest . As of the first quarter of 2009, Kroger operated, either directly or through its subsidiaries, 2,475 supermarkets, and had 798 fuel centers.
Kroger's headquarters are centralized in Downtown Cincinnati, but it spans many states with store formats that include supermarkets, hypermarkets, department stores, convenience stores and mall jewelry stores. Kroger-branded grocery stores are located throughout the Midwestern and Southern United States.
Kroger was founded by Bernard Kroger in 1883 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Kroger pioneered the first supermarket surrounded on all four sides by parking lots in the 1930s. In 1983, The Kroger Company acquired Dillon Companies grocery chain in Kansas along with its subsidiaries, King Soopers, City Market, Fry's, Baker's, Gerbes, and the convenience store chain Kwik Shop. David Dillon, in the 4th generation under J.S. Dillon, the founder of Dillon Companies, is now the CEO of Kroger.
Kroger Marketplace is a chain of hypermarkets. 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, Wal-Mart Supercenter, 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, Donato's Pizza, and an in-store bank, as well as sections for toys, appliances, and home furnishings, 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 are planned in 2007, one in Middletown and one in Englewood.
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, and two more opened in Lexington, KY in 2009. Another store is being planned, for Beavercreek, Ohio, and is planned to open in the spring of 2010. Kroger opened a new 60,000 sq ft store in North Augusta, SC. 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 first Kroger Marketplace store in Tennessee opened in Farragut, TN (a small suburb outside of Knoxville) at the end of 2008, and a second store in Thompson's Station, TN (about 20 miles south of Nashville) in early 2009. A third location opened in Gallatin, TN on March 11, 2010.
As well as stocking a variety of regional brand products, The Kroger Co. also employs one of the largest networks of private label manufacturing in the country. Forty-two plants (either wholly owned or used with operating agreements) in seventeen states create about half of Kroger’s nearly eight thousand private label products. Similar to most major supermarket retailers, Kroger uses a three-tiered private label marketing strategy.
Kroger operates 15 dairies and three ice cream plants
Early in 2007, Kroger introduced its Kroger Value line. The Kroger Value line is the successor to the FMV or For Maximum Value brand previously offered at Kroger stores. 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, for example: frozen food, butter, dog and cat food, ice cream, paper towels, bleach, and other food and household items.
For Maximum Value (FMV), originally named Fred Meyer Value, 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 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. FMV itself was the successor to Kroger's former Cost Cutter brand, which had been introduced in 1981 and was known for its near-generic product labeling. Most Kroger Value brand items are labeled bilingually (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.
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:
Drug & General Merchandise
Grocery and General Merchandise
Whole Health (Nutrition)
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 is currently in a phase out process and being re-replaced with Kroger Brand product. They no longer offer this brand.
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, IN, 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 pharmacies to Revco, which later was sold to CVS.
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.
Since 1998, Kroger has added fuel centers in the parking lots of its supermarkets, and as of the third quarter of 2008, operated 750 of them.
Kroger has a 3-tiered distribution system. The 2nd and 3rd tiers, internally known as "Peyton's", service retail stores and provide promotional and seasonal products. Kroger operates five "Peyton's" which include:
Kroger operates its own fleet of trucks and trailers to distribute products to its various stores, in addition to a contract with the trucking company, First Fleet.
Food distribution and buying takes place under various subsidiaries and divisions. These include:
Kroger Personal Finance was introduced in 2007 to offer various stores' branded MasterCards; mortgages; home equity loans; pet, renter's and home insurance and identity theft protection.
Kroger had 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 industrial-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 beside North Huntingdon, at least one other 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, televisisons, and other electonics. 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.) There has been recent speculation that Kroger may be re-entering the market since Giant Eagle and Wal-Mart (through the numerous supercenters Wal-Mart has opened in the Pittsburgh area in recent years) have since formed a de facto monopoly in the market as a result of Supervalu's inability to compete, as well as the launch of Kroger's Turkey Hill dairy brand in the area in 2005. 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 Wal-Mart remains a major competitor and Aldi is the only other supermarket with any market overlap.
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.
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.
Kroger stores existed in various Florida markets from the 1960s until 1986, when the chain decided to exit the state and sold most of its stores to Albertsons and Kash n' Karry. Kroger operated in Florida under the "SupeRx" and "Florida Choice" banners. Recently, retail analysts have begun to speculate about whether Kroger may capitalize on the misfortunes of Albertsons and re-enter Florida again, but the dominance of native Publix, Winn-Dixie and the growing force of Wal-Mart in Florida would be a tough sell for Kroger.
Kroger also had some presence in the Milwaukee area in the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s, when it exited. Speculation occurred that it would return in 2008 when Roundy's was rumored to be for sale, but it never happened.
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, BI-LO bought Kroger's remaining stores in the Charlotte area. 
Kroger also swapped all ten of its Greensboro-area stores in 1999 to Matthews-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 and Greenville areas. A store in Wilson opened in 2002, but closed two years later.
Kroger also had Stores in the Charleston area with locations also in North Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Goose Creek, & Summerville until 1988 when they sold the stores to BI-LO along with the Charlotte area stores. 
Kroger closed almost all of its northern Michigan stores in the 1980s and 1990s. The locations in Flint and the Tri-Cities were converted to Kessel Food Market beginning in 1982. These Kessel locations were bought back by Kroger in 2001; conversion was completed in 2006. In December 2008, Kroger opened a new 76,000-square-foot (7,100 m2) store in Saginaw in Green Acres Plaza on State Street. This opening neccessated the closure of the original Kessel location and one other location, both just down the road from the new site. The Kroger stores in Grand Rapids and most of northern Michigan were sold to Hamady, a chain based in Flint, Michigan.
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 today.
Albertsons exited the San Antonio and Houston markets in early 2002, selling many of the Houston stores to Kroger.
In the late 1990s, it acquired many stores from Super Fresh as it exited many markets in the South.
Long the dominant grocer in western Virginia, Kroger entered the Richmond, Virginia, market in 2000, where it competes against market leaders Ukrop's and Food Lion. Kroger entered the market by purchasing 20 Hannaford stores that either already existed or were being built in Richmond as well as 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 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.
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 the local Western Supermarkets.
"Right Store. Right Price." and "More Value for The Way You Live" (very similar to Wal-Mart's "Save Money, Live Better" slogan) are the current advertising slogans for Kroger and most other chains owned by the Kroger company. Probably the best known advertising slogan in the company's history was "Let's Go Krogering," which was accompanied by a jingle of the same name. It still appears on the bottom of some stickers which are placed on large items, handed out to children in stores (just like banks give lollipops to children). Other previously used slogans included "Your Total Value Leader," "Kroger, Where It Costs Less to Get More," "See What We're Doing Today," "Kroger, Count on Us."
On October 11, 2007, food manufacturer ConAgra Foods asked stores to pull its Banquet and generic brand chicken and turkey pot pies due to 174 cases of salmonella poisoning in 32 states being linked to the consumption of ConAgra pot pies, with 33 people hospitalized. By October 12, a full recall was announced, affecting all varieties of frozen pot pies sold under the Kroger brand name, as well as Banquet, Albertson’s, Food Lion, Great Value (sold by Wal-Mart), Hill Country Fare (sold by H-E-B), Kirkwood (sold by Aldi), Meijer, and Western Family. The recalled pot pies included all varieties in 7-oz. single-serving packages bearing the number P-9 or “Est. 1059” printed on the side of the package.
On January 16, 2008, it was announced that Wayne Watson, a Denver consumer who developed bronchiolitis obliterans or "popcorn lung" after allegedly inhaling diacetyl fumes from microwaved popcorn, was suing the Kroger grocery store chain and its affiliates. In the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, Watson's attorney claimed that the companies "failed to warn that preparing microwave popcorn in a microwave oven as intended and smelling the buttery aroma could expose the consumer to an inhalation hazard and a risk of lung injury."
Kroger is a retail supermarket chain in the United States. As of 2010, it had 3,619 stores. Bernard Kroger opened the first Kroger store in 1883 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The company's headquarters are still in Cincinnati today. In 1999, the company merged with Fred Meyer, Inc.