Kroger is an American retail and multi-department store company that operates in the United States. The company was founded in 1883 by Bernard Kroger who used his life savings to open a small grocery store in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. Over its long and successful history, Kroger has inherited various subsidiaries via mergers and acquisitions. Today, Kroger is the largest true supermarket operator in the United States with over 2,750 stores across 35 states. The company also owns fuel centers, pharmacies, department stores, jewelry stores, and in-store medical clinics.
City Market is a supermarket brand that was founded in 1924 by Paul, Frank, Leo, and Clarence Prinster. There are 35 City Market stores in the United States at the time of writing in the states of Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and New Mexico.
City Market was acquired by the Dillon Companies in 1981, which then became part of Kroger when the two companies merged in 1983.
Quality Food Centers (QFC) is another supermarket chain with a strong presence in Washington state. The company was founded by Jack Croco, a former Albertson’s employee who opened his own grocery store in Bellevue.
Over the 70s, 80s, and 90s, QFC expanded into surrounding counties and states with multiple acquisitions. The company was acquired by Fred Meyer in 1997 that was itself acquired by Kroger the following year.
Smith’s Food and Drug
Smith’s Food and Drug, affectionately known as Smith’s, is a regional supermarket chain that was founded in 1911 by Lorenzo Smith.
Smith’s was acquired by Kroger at the same time as QFC as part of the Fred Meyer deal. This deal was the one that elevated Kroger to the largest supermarket chain in the country and also the nation’s largest supplier of milk and eggs. It was estimated that the deal would result in $43 billion in revenue or around $67 billion in today’s money.
Mariano’s is a grocery store chain that was founded relatively recently in 2010. The chain sells items such as smoked ribs, oysters, liquor, cheese, sushi, gelato, and smoothies.
Mariano’s expanded quickly in the Chicago area with 34 stores opening in the first five years of operation. When Kroger acquired Milwaukee-based supermarket chain Roundy’s in 2015, it also took control of Mariano’s in a deal worth around $800 million.
Food 4 Less (Foods Co)
Food 4 Less and Foods Co are no-frills grocery store chains operating in Illinois, Indiana, and Southern California where customers must bag their own items.
There are also other stores scattered around the country as part of franchise deals with different wholesale food companies.
Home Chef is a meal kit and food delivery that provides ingredients and recipes to customers in the United States every week. Each delivery contains fresh and pre-portioned items in recyclable packages that are ready to cook.
- Kroger is an American retail and multi-department store company that operates in the United States. Kroger is the largest true supermarket operator in the United States.
- Kroger subsidiaries include supermarket chains QFC, City Market, and Smith’s Food and Drug, with all three moving under the Kroger brand after acquisitions of other companies.
- Kroger also acquired Chicago-centric grocery store chain Mariano’s in 2015 when it purchased Milwaukee-based chain Roundy’s. Kroger also owns discount chain Food 4 Less and food delivery service Home Chef.
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