visit our consumer sites
  Site Map Contact Us
press releases
speech archives
values
history
historic timeline
charitable giving
 

Explore Our Heritage
Since 1883, The Kroger Co. has grown from a small store in downtown Cincinnati to become one of America's largest grocery retailers. Follow our rich heritage using our timeline. Page through the years using the navigation below:


1883
The first store opens at 66 East Pearl Street in Cincinnati, Ohio.
1884

Barney Kroger buys out his partner and opens a second store.
1901
Kroger is the first grocery company to operate its own bakeries.
1902
With 40 stores and $1.75 million in annual sales, The Kroger Grocery and Baking Company is incorporated.
1904
Kroger buys 14 Nagel meat markets and a packing house. Meat and groceries are sold under one roof for the first time.
1905
During the severe winter, Barney Kroger donates 300 loaves of bread a week to the poor.
1908
On the company's 25th anniversary, 200 horses and wagons are making regular store deliveries, and Kroger's growing chain numbers 136 stores in Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus and northern Kentucky.
1913
Kroger replaces horses and wagon teams with 75 Model T trucks.
1916
Self-service is tried for the first time and the food store as we know it today begins to take shape.
1925
Kroger erects a new warehouse on State Avenue to serve Cincinnati stores.

1928
B. H. Kroger sells his company stock and retires from active management, and the State Avenue facility expands to add manufacturing.
1929
Kroger operates 5,575 stores, the most in its history.
1930
Featuring a doorman to greet customers, Kroger's "Store of the Future" opens on Government Square in downtown Cincinnati.
1930
Albert H. Morrill becomes Kroger's President and CEO.
1930
The Kroger Food Foundation is established, making Kroger the first grocery company to test food products scientifically.
1930
Kroger forms its own produce buying arm, Wesco Foods Co.
1935
Kroger erects a new warehouse on State Avenue to serve Cincinnati stores.
1938
Barney H. Kroger dies at age 78.
1942
Charles M. Robertson takes the helm of Kroger.
1944
G.I. Joe's rations include Kroger-made plum pudding.
1946
Kroger Grocery and Baking Company officially becomes The Kroger Co.
1946
Joseph B. Hall is elected president and CEO, and Kroger's modern era begins.
1952
Kroger sales top $1 billion.
1955
Kroger joins with six other firms to found the Top Value Stamp Co.

1959
A new skyscraper housing Kroger's executive offices opens at 1014 Vine Street in Cincinnati.
1960
Kroger acquires its first computers.
1963
Kroger's first $2 billion sales year.
1964
Joe Hall retires and Jacob E. Davis takes over as President and CEO.
1968
In just five years, Kroger's sales grow another $1 billion, topping $3 billion.
1970s
Kroger, listening to its shoppers through extensive market research, introduces ultra modern stores featuring old-fashioned values and trend-setting specialty shops featuring cheese, deli/bakeries, flowers and a host of other items.
1970
James P. Herring is Kroger's new President and CEO.
1971
"Open dating" system assures shoppers of fresh perishables.
1972
An experimental scanner checkout system is tested in a Kroger supermarket.
1972
Kroger's first superstore opens in Barberton, Ohio.
1972
Nutritional labeling is put on Kroger private brand products.
1975
Kroger sales exceed $5 billion and a Consumer Advisory Council is formed.
1977
Most Kroger stores are equipped with heat recycling equipment as part of ongoing effort to reduce energy costs.

1978
Lyle Everingham is named Kroger President and CEO and Kroger opens Tara Foods, a peanut butter processing plant in the heart of Georgia peanut country.
1979
Kroger becomes the nation's second-largest food retailing company.
1980s
The specialty departments within Kroger are continually being refined, modernized and expanded, offering customers a wide selection of products and services from fresh seafood to the finest fragrances.
1980
Company sales top $10 billion.
1981
Kroger introduces Cost Cutter brand products.
1981
Kroger opens unique frozen dough and hearth bread bakery in Bowling Green, KY.
1983
Kroger merges with Dillon Companies, Inc. and begins a new era as coast-to-coast operator of food, drug and convenience stores, and the manufacturer of more than 4,000 food and non-food products.
1983
Kroger begins its 100th anniversary with theme, "Where New Ideas Come to Life."
1984
Tom Thumb Food Stores purchased by Dillon (86 stores).
1985
M&M Super Markets, Inc., Savannah, GA purchased by Kroger (11 stores).
1986
Kroger stock splits.
1988
To fend off a hostile take over, Kroger restructures, borrowing more than $5 billion and issuing to stockholders a $40 dividend and a five-year note valued at $8.69 (at the time). Stock trades for around $9 a share after the restructuring.
1990
Joseph A. Pichler elected Chairman of the Board and CEO June 17, 1990.

1991
Lyle Everingham retires from Kroger.
1993
Kroger celebrates 110 years in the grocery business.
1995
David Dillon is promoted to President & Chief Operating Officer of The Kroger Co.
1998
Kroger announces plan to merge with Fred Meyer, Inc., creating one of the nation's largest supermarket companies.
1999
Kroger merges with Fred Meyer, Inc. in a $13 billion deal that creates the nation's largest retail grocery company.
1999
Named "Grocery Distributor of the Year" by America's Second Harvest, the nation's largest food bank network. Kroger donated 19 million pounds of product valued at $32 million.
1999
Kroger named one of America's "100 Best Corporate Citizens" by Business Ethics, a national publication honoring corporate social responsibility. -and- Sales top $50 billion for the first time in company history.
1999
David B. Dillon promoted to Chief Executive Officer after Joseph A. Pichler announces plans to retire.

2004
Kroger Marketplaces expand to Columbus, Ohio. This store format sells an expanded selection of groceries, as well as general merchandise.
2004
Kroger introduces its 1-2-3 Rewards MasterCard. This card can be used to earn free groceries, as well as savings on products in Kroger’s family of stores.
2005
Company sales top $60 billion.
2005
Kroger donated over $6 million for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. In addition to monetary donations, the Company donated food, water and other necessary products
2006
The Company’s Board of Directors establishes a quarterly dividend program for the first time since 1988. Shareholders received the first payment September 1st.
2007
Kroger was inducted into the Billion Dollar Roundtable Inc., an organization that recognizes corporations that spend $1 billion dollars annually with minority and women-owned suppliers.
2007
Kroger is named “Retailer of the Year” by America’s Second Harvest, the nation’s largest hunger relief organization. This marks the fifth time in seven years Kroger has won this honor
2008
Kroger is honored to celebrate its 125 anniversary, thanks to its associates and customers support throughout the years.