Kroger Stores: When it comes to retail shops in the United States of America, the list is dominated by the likes of Wal-Mart, Kroger and Costco. These giants have dominated the retail business since a long time. One of these companies, the Kroger has exceptionally handled the competition and has been in the business since a century. With revenues exceeding 100 billion dollars in the fiscal year of 2016, kroger Stores and kroger company is the leading retail chain in the North America.
Inception of Kroger Stores & Kroger Company:
In the year of 1883, Bernard Barney Kroger established a small retail shop in the remote region of downtown Cincinnati. The store was situated at 66 Pearl Street which is the present-day Great American Ballpark. Kroger used to work for The Imperial Tea Co. and he had asked for a partnership in the company. When the employers refused, he invested his life savings of 372 dollars in a shop. This amount is equivalent to 9600 dollars in today’s world. Gauging the reaction for his first retail shop, Kroger opened another shop in the next year itself.
The retail shop worked in a peculiar way during its maiden years. The commodities were placed behind the counters and the customers had to ask for the specific products which would be fetched and given. Accordingly, the billing process would take place. In the year of 1916, the company came up with an innovative idea of self-service shopping which enabled easy access to all products to the customers.
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Kroger Stores: Pioneers in Supermarket Industries:
In the 1930s, Kroger company became the first company to incorporate the quality testing of the products. It also tested the food products that were offered to the customers. Kroger was the first retail chain that had parking lots on all the four sides of the store. This enabled easy access to the store and decongestion of traffic. In the 1970s, it was the first company to test and implement the usage of the electronic scanner. It also initiated the step towards formalizing consumer research.
Acquisition of companies:
On May 13th of 1955, Kroger stores bought the Henke and Pilot retail chain which was based in Houston. This Texas based company had 26 stores spread across the locality. In the next month, the company acquired the Krambo Food Stores, Incorporation which was originally based in the Milwaukee region of the Wisconsin state. This local company consisted of 18 stores at that time. Again, in the next month, July, the Kroger companies bought the Childs Food Stores, Inc that was principally based in Jacksonville, Texas. This company also had established stores in the region of Louisiana and Arkansas. These acquisitions were an instrumental part of Kroger’s growth and expansion over the country. It also bought the 7-store Big Chain Stores, Inc of Shreveport, Louisiana. In the coming years, the Kroger Company would also sell some parts of the business to other retail stores.
In September 1957, the company sold off its stores in the Wichita to J. S. Dillon And Sons Stores Company which had sixteen stores under its supervision. During these years, although the company had exponentially expanded, it had no stores west of Texas. One of the biggest acquisitions by the Kroger stores Company was the Market Basket. In the year of 1963, this company had a 56-store retail chain and buying this company helped Kroger stores to expand to Western regions of the country.
Expansion of the Kroger Srores & Companies:
Over the next few decades, the company bought and sold off many different companies to stay in the competition. The recession period that hit the USA in the 1980s affected the company in many ways and it had to exit from some of the states by selling off its stores to the local individuals. The company later regained its presence in these states and introduced the Kroger Marketplace that was established in 2004. This was basically a chain of big box stores that retailed and sold almost all commodities required for an average household.
Over the years, the company has faced many ups and downs, series of acquisitions, setting benchmarks, achieving milestones and eventually conquering the retail business in the USA. In the present day, it operates in over 2778 supermarkets and multi-departmental stores either directly or through subsidiaries. Kroger Store is the 23rd largest company in the USA and the 3rd largest retailer in the world. It is also the second largest private employer in the USA.