Executives at Boise-based Albertsons Companies Inc. and Kroger announced on friday They plan to merge two grocery retailers.
Albertsons is the state’s largest business and employer, so it’s well known to Idahoans, but what about Midwestern companies with whom they plan to partner?
Five things you should know about Kroger.
Kroger is the nation’s largest grocery retailer
Bernie Kroger Established His first eponymous grocery store in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1883. His Kroger, now a publicly traded company, is still headquartered in Cincinnati and today is considered the nation’s largest traditional grocery retailer.
Kroger operates 2,723 stores in dozens of states, according to the company. company websiteand employs about 500,000 people.
Last year, Kroger generated $137.9 billion in revenue, according to the company. Company ProfileIt ranks among the top five U.S. grocery retailers, behind Walmart, Amazon and Costco, and ahead of Albertsons. Foodindustry.com.
Like other food retailers, Kroger’s profits soared during the COVID-19 pandemic. People are eating out less and buying food to eat at home instead.
Many brands are coming under the Kroger umbrella
If you’ve never been to a grocery store called “Kroger” and you’re wondering why it becomes the top grocery store in the country, here’s a quick explanation.
Kroger stores go by more than 20 different names, including Fred Meyer, Food 4 Less and Smith’s Food and Drug.
Also, the company is not only involved in the supermarket business. Kroger also operates dozens manufacturing industry Factories that produce dairy, baked goods and other Kroger branded products.
Kroger also operates thousands of pharmacies and gas stations, and sells jewelry at Littman Jewelers and Fred Meyer Jewelers stores.
Kroger invests in e-commerce
Kroger’s corporate strategy in recent years has focused on fresh produce and delivery. Like its main competitors Walmart and Amazon, Kroger has sought to meet rising demand. online shopping.
In 2018, Kroger partnered with British grocery technology company Ocado Group to establish an e-commerce delivery network.
The network includes automated fulfillment centers where machines collect customers’ online orders and prepare them for delivery, according to the company. news release. Food is delivered in a refrigerated truck.
The company has built, or announced plans to build, more than 20 delivery fulfillment centers nationwide, mostly in the Midwest and South, according to the company. grocery dive.
Kroger is already based in Idaho
Kroger operates 15 retail stores in Idaho and employs more than 3,000 people in the state, according to the company. state profile.
In Treasure Valley alone, there are seven Fred Meyer grocery stores in Boise, Garden City, Meridian, Eagle and Nampa, along with jewelry stores and gas stations.
Kroger also has stores in Magic Valley, East Idaho, and North Idaho.
Kroger has been criticized for low wages
The Economic Roundtable, a non-profit economic and social research group, recently investigated Over 10,000 Kroger employees in Southern California, Washington and Colorado.
The survey, commissioned by the Grocery Union Group, found that many Kroger employees said they faced housing and food insecurity. Studies show that the average Kroger employee earns less than his $30,000 a year.
“The living and working conditions of Kroger workers have declined significantly over the past two decades,” the study said. “Kroger’s current low-wage part-time workforce strategy relies on low-wage part-time workers whose schedules are constantly changing.”
Meanwhile, the company’s profits increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the study, Kroger said that in 2020 he made more than $4 billion in operating profit, an increase of $1 billion from 2019.
The company gave its employees a $2 an hour “hazard pay” raise at the start of the pandemic, but withdrew it two months later. bloomberg.
That same year, Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen made about $22 million, more than 900 times the average wage of a Kroger employee.
Kroger officials released the findings, calling the Economic Roundtable survey “flawed” and “misleading.” proprietary analysisnoted that the company pays higher wages than its retail peers.
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