In 1883, Bernard H. Kroger opened his first grocery store in Cincinnati, Ohio with his friend named Brannigan.
He used $372 of his own money and $350 borrowed from his friend to start the business. They opened a small store under the name of the Great Western Tea Company.
The early months of the fledging business were an unmitigated disaster. Two weeks after they opened, their wagon was wrecked and horse killed by a train at a railway crossing.
A month later an unprecedented flood on the Ohio Rover submerged their store causing a heavy loss.
By the end of the year the two partners were on their feet again. It grew to be an important chain for the sale of groceries, bakery products, and meats.
In 1884, Kroger bought out Brannigan’s interest for $1500. After opening 40 stores and expanding into Kentucky, the company changed its name to Kroger Grocery and Baking Co, in 1902.
Four decades later, after an extended period of growth, the name was changed again to the Kroger Co.
In 1972, Kroger opened its first superstore in Barberton, Ohio. Seven years later, it had grown into the nation’s second largest grocer.
In 1999, Kroger shareholder overwhelming approved a merger with the Fred Meyers Corporation.
This gave Kroger a presence in the Western United States in states like Utah, California, Washington and Oregon. Kroger moved to No. 1 spot following this $13.4 billion merger.
History of Kroger
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