Company: Kroger

Founders:Barney Kroger

Industry: The Kroger Co. is a U.S.-based parent company and a retail supermarket chain.


In 1883, the son of a merchant opened a grocery store at 66 Pearl Street in Cincinnati. He infused his enterprise with $372 — his life savings. This man was Barney Kroger and he would later give rise to a chain of 2,507 supermarkets.

Kroger is a pioneer in the way he modeled his supermarket business: In the early 1900s, specialty stores abounded with meats and grocery but the two commodities were always sold in separate stores. Barney Kroger radically altered this model; he was the first to sell meats and grocery in one store. He also decided to bake his own bread. In a time where stores ordered bread from bakers, this gave Kroger a huge advantage over his competitors as he could lower his prices. Over the years, he has added more products he could manufacture on his own in order to cut down prices more.

This innovative mindset of manufacturing his own goods gave birth to the one of the most massive food manufacturing corporate entities in the United States. The company has 42 food processing facilities that make myriad products that include bread, milk, soda pop, peanut butter, and ice cream. Over 50% of the privately-manufactured items in Kroger stores are made from one of these centers. These “corporate brands” currently comprise 24% of the company’s grocery dollar sales, providing the company with an immense strategic edge over its competitors. Kroger’s revolutionary idea has paid off.

With over 125 years of experience under its belt, Kroger has expanded so much that is now is currently the second biggest grocery retailer in the US. It also has 579 fuel centers that make up a significant fraction of its 2,507 supermarkets. In 2007, its sales exceeded $66 billion.

Quote: Barney Kroger operates his enterprise with the motto “Be particular. Never sell anything you would not want yourself.”


  • David B. Dillon – Chairman and CEO
  • Don W. McGeorge – President, COO, and Director
  • J. Michael Schlotman – SVP and CFO
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