edit The Kroger Co.
The Kroger Corporation is USA based, retail and supermarket chain, whose founder was Bernard Henry Kroger. Its headquarters is in Cincinnati, Ohio and the first shop was set up in 1883. It reports indicated that there were over 60 billion US dollars worth in sales during last fiscal year. It is the leader in retailing of grocery products in USA and follows Wal-Mart along with The Home Depot as a general retailer. It was ranked No. 2 among the top 75 North American Food Retailers by Supermarket News in 2007. Till Jan, 2006, Kroger ran 2500 plus supermarkets out of which 579 had fuel center, directly or through its subsidiaries. Anderson Township, Hamilton County, Ohio has the largest Kroger store.
edit The Strategy
Barney Kroger, in 1883 invested all his savings to start a grocery shop in Cincinnati. His motto was “Be particular. Never sell anything you would not want yourself.” Mr. Kroger, unlike other grocers who bought bread from other small bakeries, started baking his own bread. This enabled him to reduce the cost and maximize his profits. Thus he was the grocer to set up his private bakeries and also the first shopkeeper to sell groceries and meat from one place. When farmers from different villages came to town to sell their produce, Mr. Kroger bought far many cabbages and his mother prepared tangy sauerkraut from the excess cabbages which proved to be hugely popular among German Customers.
Kroger has over forty food processing services which make products ranging from, milk and cookies and bread to ice cream along with peanut butter. More than half of the private labels in the company’s stores are from his manufacturing plants and account for about 24% of all the sales from groceries Kroger and provides the organization with an edge.
To provide the ease of shopping at one place to the customers, stores have developed further to hold more merchandise and variety. New stores can even be up to 65,000 sq feet and can have more than 50,000 stuff, from essential grocery to natural foods, vegetables and hot meals. Kroger also operates 1900 medicine shops that fill more than 110 million prescriptions an year. Floral shops are enough to make Kroger the largest florist in the world. 575 or more stores have fuel centers installed in the parking lot to appeal the customers.
edit Acquisitions and Mergers
Like any multi-billion company, Acquisitions have always played a vital role in Kroger’s growth. Kroger and Dillon Companies Inc. merged in 1983 and became coast to coast dealer of drug, food and other stuff stores.
In 1999, was the largest merger for Kroger when it paired up with Fred Meyer Inc and formed a supermarket chain having widest coverage and huge variety in food retailing sector. This deal stood out at a time when many similar other mergers failed.
edit Use of Technology
Since its inception, Kroger has been a leader in supermarket industry. It was the first among the competitors to check product quality. It was the first retailer to experiment an electronic scanner in 1972. When it was first installed in Cincinnati, the event was attended by visitors all over the country. Around the same period, it became the first grocer to formalize consumer research. The feedback helped Kroger to introduce unpackaged produce and service departments like delis.
Even today, technology plays vital role in Kroger operations. More than 1600 stores now have self-checkout where customers scan their purchases and pay without any involvement of cashier.
Kroger also possesses one of the largest fleets of truck in USA. There total movement, form manufacturing plants to warehouse to stores account to 100 million miles or more, each year.
Even today, the business ideology of first the store – service, selection and value - hold true and continue to fuel the growth of one of the largest company in America which started from a small grocery store situated in Cincinnati.
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