Is Kroger A Franchise? (Not What You Think)

Franchising is an excellent way for people to leverage the brand established by popular retail chains and start a profitable business without too much investment of effort and time.

Since Kroger is a household name when it comes to grocery chains in the U.S., you may be wondering – is Kroger a franchise business? Here is what I’ve found out about this through my research!

Is Kroger A Franchise?

Kroger is not a franchise business. Instead, Kroger is a publicly-traded organization headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, that was established in 1883 by Bernard Kroger, an American businessman. The company has over 2,800 stores in the U.S. 

If you want to learn more about why Kroger is not a franchise business, which owns Kroger and drives its decision-making, and much more, keep on reading!

Why Isn’t Kroger A Franchise?

Although Kroger has not released any official statement explaining why it does not venture into the franchise business, there are several reasons we can infer from the way it runs its business.

Most notably, having the status of a corporation run from a single headquarters allows Kroger to optimize its processes, minimize its costs, and thus obtain greater profits.

Complete ownership of how all stores operate gives shareholders and executives greater control over challenges and the opportunity to implement new methods and innovate faster.

For all of these reasons, Kroger has decided to remain a corporation to remain competitive with other retail chains such as Walmart.

When Was Kroger Established?

Kroger was started in 1883 by Bernard Kroger, an American businessman who pioneered the idea of self-service, i.e. customers selecting products themselves and bringing them to the counter for payment.

The retail store chain was established in Cincinnati, Ohio, where its current headquarters are also located.

Since then, Kroger has gone through a long journey resulting in more than 2,800 stores located in 30+ states in the U.S.

Additionally, Kroger is now the largest supermarket store in the U.S. based on its revenue, which was $121.16 billion for the fiscal year 2019.

Who Owns Kroger?

What Stores Franchise In The US?

Kroger is a publicly-traded organization, listed in the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the S&P 500 as “KR.”

Here are the top 5 companies/entities that hold the largest shares in the ownership of the retail chain:

  • The Vanguard Group, Inc. – 9.36% stake
  • BlackRock Fund Advisors – 6.96% stake
  • Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. – 6.83% stake
  • SSga Funds Management, Inc. – 5.14% stake
  • Renaissance Technologies LLC – 2.30% stake

What Stores Franchise In The US?

Although Kroger is not a franchise, there are several grocery business companies in the U.S. that you can buy a franchise from, including:

  • Clubstore Outlet
  • Edible Arrangements
  • Grocery Outlet
  • 7-Eleven franchise
  • Dunkin’ Donuts
  • Circle K

To learn more, you might also be interested in reading up on whether or not CVS is a franchise, whether Target is a franchise, and if Walmart is a franchise.

Conclusion: Is Kroger A Franchise?

Kroger is not a franchise business and instead is a single corporate entity headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The retail chain is publicly listed on the New York and S&P 500 stock exchanges, with major investment companies holding shares and ownership.

Other retail and food chains that do have a franchise model include Edible Arrangements International, Dunkin’ Donuts, Circle K, 7-Eleven, and many more.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of

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