By Theo Thimou, clarkhoward.com
It’s the nation’s second largest grocer behind Walmart. It operates 2,778 retail food stores under a variety of different names in 35 states and Washington, D.C.
Maybe you’re familiar with grocery stores like Ralphs, Dillons, Smith’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 or Mariano’s. They’re all part of Kroger’s grocery empire!
But do you really know Kroger? Read on for some interesting facts about the supermarket chain…
Kroger played a part in the feel-good story of the summer
One of the feel-good stories of the summer emerged out of a Kroger just last month. In June, impoverished 16-year-old Chauncy Jones Black asked Matt White if he could help carry his groceries to the man’s car at the Poplar Plaza Kroger in Memphis, Tenn.
Matt took the teen into the store and went on a grocery shopping spree on his behalf. Later when bringing Chauncy home, Matt realized the full effect of the poverty-stricken conditions the straight A student and his mother lived in: No beds, sleeping bags on the floor and no food in the refrigerator.
So Matt set up a GoFundMe page to help Chauncy raise $250 that would allow him to buy a lawnmower and start cutting grass for money. The Internet has responded with $340,000 in donations to date after being touched by Chauncy’s story!
But the two never would have met had Chauncy not approached Matt and offered to help carry his groceries at Kroger!
Kroger has the humblest of origins
Barney Kroger took his life savings of $372 and opened a grocery store at 66 Pearl Street in downtown Cincinnati in 1883. Today the store does annual sales of more than $109.8 billion in business!
Kroger has $4 generic meds for pets
When you go to the vet and they write a prescription for your pet, they typically also fill it for you at a high markup. That’s created an opportunity for Kroger to offer $4 generic meds for cats and dogs at all of its pharmacies. The $4 price point is usually for a 30-day supply. If you want 90 days, you’ll generally pay around $10 or so.
Kroger values sustainability
Sustainability is important to many companies and Kroger is no exception. By 2020, the company has set the following goals:
- Expanding their 100% sustainable seafood commitment
- Achieving the EPA’s “zero waste” threshold of 90% in all facilities
- Optimizing 100% of corporate brand packaging
- Transitioning toward a 100% cage-free egg supply chain
Kroger is testing dynamic pricing in at least one store
Dynamic demand pricing may have started in the airline industry, but it’s stretched out everywhere from retail to the pricing on apartment rentals.
What exactly is dynamic demand pricing? It’s the idea that price moves up and down based on demand. Earlier this year, The Wall Street Journal reported one Kroger in Kentucky is experimenting with electronic price tags that change throughout the day.
So you might put a box of cereal in your cart thinking it’s $1.50…and then when you get to checkout it out could cost $1.59 or maybe even 99 cents!
Kroger is a major player in the organic market
Kroger has its own branded organic line called Simple Truth. It’s a private label which has sales by itself that exceed the annual sales of a lot of entire supermarket chains in the United States! In 2015, Simple Truth products did $1.5 billion in business,according to Food Business News.
You’ll typically find the clearance rack in the back
While Publix tends to make their clearance rack or table a little easier to find by generally putting it at the front of the store, Kroger takes the opposite approach. Look for their clearance area near the back of the store.
As the picture shows, Kroger will often sell clearance items at just one cent above cost!
“These clearance racks have potentially VERY GOOD price items,” according to the blog Living Frugal Does Not Have To Feel Poor. “We found not long ago that Nature Valley’s Sweet and Salty nut boxes [were] $1.00 each!!! Usually, this costs $2 ~ $2.50. So that’s a good deal.”
Kroger has a fine jewelry division
This may sound crazy, but did you know that Kroger operates a fine jewelry division consisting of 323 jewelry stores in 30 states under the banners of Fred Meyer Jewelers and Littman Jewelers? It’s true!
Stranger yet, Kroger’s website reports that while you’re likely to find these stores inside malls, they are some locations inside food stores! Look for them at select Kroger Marketplace, Dillons Marketplace, Fry’s Marketplace, Smith’s Marketplace and King Soopers Marketplace stores around the country.