Read this before stepping into Kroger again

Kroger is the nation’s largest supermarket chain, according to Food Industry, and lags behind only Walmart in overall grocery revenue, with 2019 sales figures topping $120 billion across over 2,750 stores. Not only is the Kroger chain the biggest, but they’ve also got a number of notable achievements under their conveyor belt. The Daily Meal characterizes Kroger as the first modern-day grocery store, as they may have been the first to offer bread and other staple items alongside such items a greengrocer would typically offer. At long last, harried shoppers didn’t have to scurry from butcher, to baker, to candlestick maker, and grocery runs no longer took all day.

Other Kroger firsts include wide-range quality control, which they implemented in the 1930s, and electronic scanning, which has been making checkout clerks’ lives easier since the 1970s. Perhaps the greatest boon Kroger bestowed upon humankind, at least once the age of the automobile was upon us, was the fact that they also pioneered the concept of having large parking lots surrounding their stores.

Some Krogers really do allow one-stop shopping

There are some Krogers that offer a whole lot more than just groceries. Okay, so supermarket gas stations aren’t all that unusual, but they’re a nice convenience to have, and the Daily Meal says over 1,000 Krogers do offer parking lot gas stations. More unusual would be in-store medical services, but some Krogers offer these, as well, with their chain of in-store walk-in care clinics called The Little Clinic.

As if all that wasn’t enough, at some Krogers you can even shop personal finance services including mortgages, home equity loans and insurance, and in 31 states you can sign up for a Kroger-branded cell phone service. One kind of cool perk that comes along with this last-named service — using your Kroger shopper’s card can earn you free minutes, so you can eat your way into a smaller phone bill.

You can see history being made at this Kentucky Kroger

Kroger’s not only a grocery giant, but also the world’s largest florist. According to Grocery Dive, each Kroger location averaged about $225,000 in floral sales in 2015, although this was prior to the introduction of their sustainable, Rainforest Alliance-certified BLOOM HAUS store brand in 2017. Not only is Kroger your convenient go-to spot to grab a quick bouquet every Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and “came home late for dinner because happy hour ran into overtime” day, but if you’re in Kentucky right before the Run for the Roses, you can even watch Kroger florists create the world-famous Garland of Roses that is awarded to the winner of the Kentucky Derby each year. Kroger has been the Derby’s rose supplier since 1987, hand-crafting each garland at the store in Middletown Kentucky in front of hundreds of spectators (as well as people who just happened to be shopping there at the time). 

Some Krogers let you drink and shop

Grocery shopping can be stressful; Kroger gets this. If you think you might need a little pick-me-up to get through the ordeal of filling your cart, Kroger’s got you covered — at least, certain Krogers do. The Kroger Marketplace, a concept that a 2018 Vinepair article says was in place at over 100 stores at the time, offers not only prepared foods, but also beer and wine that can be consumed at their in-store pubs and wine bars.

Even if your local Kroger doesn’t offer a Marketplace, or your state’s laws prevent onsite liquor consumption, you may be able to get a carryout growler filled with craft beer straight from the store’s own tap. The Motley Fool says Kroger first jumped on the craft beer craze in 2003, slowly expanding to add taps across the country. Kroger may be looking to focus on highlighting some of the smaller, lesser-known local breweries in the areas where it offers draft beer. As Jason Milburn, Kroger’s national beer director, explained, “by adding growlers, we are able to introduce our customers to new and emerging breweries that are only available on draft.”

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