Kroger Is Building 3 Huge New Stores As Massive Expansion Ramps Up
Kroger has long held claim to the title of America's largest grocery retailer. Sure, other larger chains might technically sell more food. Walmart, Amazon, and Costco each rank higher on Progressive Grocer's annual list of the top U.S. retailers of food and consumables, based on total revenue. But in terms of a purely food-focused traditional supermarket chain, there is no one bigger.
Kroger, of course, has even bigger ambitions ahead.
The Cincinnati-based company last year formalized its plans to merge with rival Albertsons, a move that would leapfrog the combined fourth- and fifth-largest grocers ahead of Costco into the top 3.
Kroger expects to close the deal in 2024, though it faces opposition from a coalition of over 100 organizations. The Federal Trade Commission is reviewing the proposal.
While that's going on, the company is also expanding in other ways. Just this week, the company divulged plans to construct three new massive stores in Texas, according to Winsight Grocery Business.
The planned Kroger Marketplace locations will be much larger than the company's traditional supermarkets, each spanning between 100,000 and 130,000 square feet. They will also feature an expanded array of merchandise beyond traditional groceries, including things like "outdoor living products, electronics, home goods, apparel and toys," per Winsight.
The construction news comes as Kroger continues to ramp up its delivery capabilities. The company just opened a new 300,000-square-foot facility in Colorado that is capable of handling and delivering online orders up to 90 miles away. Since 2018, Kroger has partnered with U.K.-based Ocado Group to develop robotics-driven "spoke" facilities in places like San Antonio and Oklahoma City, which can handle deliveries in areas where the retailer has no brick-and-mortar stores.
The company has been upgrading its in-store shopping experience as well, launching new tech-driven food halls in select locations.
Kroger aims to begin construction this summer on the new Texas stores, located in Fort Worth, Plano and Melissa, with expectations of opening them next year.
Kroger currently operates over 2,700 stores across 35 states. If and when its proposed merger with Albertsons is completed, the combined company will include nearly 5,000 grocery stores nationwide.