Sunday, August 30, 2020

The Kroger Company

In 1883, Bernard Henry Kroger invested his life savings of $372 to open a grocery store at 66 Pearl Street in downtown Cincinnati. He began the Great Western Tea Company, one of the first chain store operations in America.

Kroger left school to go to work at age 13 when his father lost the family dry goods store in the panic of 1873.

At 16, he sold coffee and tea door-to-door. He and B.A Branagan founded the Great Western Tea company in 1883. At 24, he bought out Branagan’s interest and became the sole owner of the Great Western Tea Company, which by the summer of 1885 had four stores. The company was incorporated in 1902.

The son of a merchant, Kroger ran his business with a simple motto: “Be particular. Never sell anything you would not want yourself.”

By 1920 the company had begun a process of rapid expansion beyond the Cincinnati area. Kroger sold his shares and retired from the business in 1928.

As of the end of fiscal 2017, the Kroger family of companies employed a total of 449,000 people in the United States.
The Kroger Company

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