The Kroger Co.
With more than 2,700 supermarkets under two dozen banners in the United States, Cincinnati-based The Kroger Co. is the nation’s largest traditional grocery company. Founded by Bernard “Barney” Kroger in 1883, Kroger stores were the first groceries in the country to operate their own bakeries, sell meats and groceries under one roof and manufacture their own goods — a move that would eventually evolve into one of the largest food manufacturing businesses in America — Kroger’s Our Brands.
Today, Our Brands account for more than 25% of Kroger’s total store dollar sales, providing the company with a significant strategic advantage. Our Brands exceeded $26.2 billion in sales with 13.6% growth in 2020, and its natural and organic Simple Truth brand topped $1 billion in sales with 20% growth the same year.
While known for its vast store count, Kroger today is very much an omnichannel retailer whose online grocery initiatives, delivery and curbside pickup continue to grow. Digital sales jumped by 116% for the 2020 fiscal year, with online grocery delivery service providing a notable boost. As of the year’s end, Kroger had 2,223 pickup sites and 2,472 delivery locations, covering 98% of the households in its market areas.
In 2021, the retailer ushered in its e-commerce model of the future with the official launch of the first of 20 planned Ocado-powered automated warehouses for filling online grocery orders. Located in Monroe, Ohio, the 375,000-square-foot customer fulfillment center (CFC) uses artificial intelligence, advanced robotics and automation to enable more seamless and efficient fulfillment, picking and delivery.
Kroger currently holds a 10% share of the food-at-home market, with No. 1 or No. 2 share positions in the vast majority of the major markets in which it operates. The supermarket giant also has now surpassed $10 billion in e-commerce sales.
The retailer is leveraging its assets in new ways beyond traditional grocery, with businesses like its retail media business, Kroger Precision Marketing, and mature businesses like Kroger Personal Finance and its data analytics firm 84.51°.
The Kroger Co.
CEO: Rodney McMullen
Number of US store locations: 2.757
Store banners: Kroger, Ralphs, Dillons, Smith's, Roundy's, King Soopers, Fry's, QFC, City Market, Owen's, Jay C, Pay Less, Baker's, Gerbes, Harris Teeter, Pick N' Save, Copps, Metro Market, Mariano's, Fred Meyer, Food 4 Less, Foods Co.
Number of US employees: Approx. 453,000
2020 Sales: $132.5B